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Mazm Volume 12 No. 11 November 1997 US $ 3.95 Canada $ 5.95 COMPUTING Your Original AMIGA Monthly Resource Can Do!' Final Writer uSBa *!
|DtsklopM AGIC Gaim |rganiser] Directory Opus 5.6 Workbench ¦Di'l. Ltilv imageFXgPageSiream3f temp Dpaint I1 linaueStudiogPka*w96jBText Files ModemMHRW *ulc Multimedia Storyboarding Creating flow charts for your web and interactive projects Text Effects in Draw Studio AN I Mf aces Crossing Platforms: Poser 2 and the Amiga ju clearing your email! Jgjl *jffj AWEBII & Miami Updates Alternate Amiga Workbenches!
Photo Finish Creating image-filled text for effects!
Introducing The Newest Model From QuikPak The A4040L and A4060L represent the latest innovation from QuikPak. A fully functional Amiga in a portable case, complete with LCD, these computers offer full compatibility with all A4000 peripherals. Combined with the NewTek Toaster and Flyer, the A4040L and A4060L are the ultimate graphics and television broadcasting solution.
* 68040 25Mhz CPU
* 2 GB HDD
* 6X CD ROM &ASIM CDFS
* $ 4495, or $ 9495 when bundled with the NewTek Toaster & Flyer.
* 68060 50Mhz CPU
* 2 GB HDD
* 16 MB EDO RAM
* 6X CD ROM &ASIM CDFS
* $ 4995, or $ 9995 when bundled with the NewTek Toaster and Flyer.
Now Things are Happening with the Amiga Call QuikPak @ 1.888.784.5725 or by email: email@example.com QUALITY QUICKLY UIKPAK www.amigasupport.com quikpak An Open Letter to the Amiga Community To: The Amiga Community From: David A. Ziembicki CEO, QuikPak Corporation It has been a while since I wrote to the Amiga Community. As those reading this already know, we published a letter welcoming Gateway 2000 and reinforcing our desire to continue to support the Amiga as we have in the past. To this end we have met with Gateway 2000, proposed various new products including our advertised A4040L,
A4060L, and A1630. Gateway warned us early on that they are very meticulous in planning and that they would need time to review our product proposals and to see how they fit with their plans. By the time you read this, we will have met with Gateway 2000 to discuss these and other products.
Many have asked why we are not shipping the new products and have pointed out that we have been advertising them for months. The answer is that in order to utilize the Amiga chip set and OS, we need to be licensed by the owner of this technology, Gateway
2000. We are currently in negotiations for such a license and we
are hopeful that these negotiations will be completed
shortly and we can move forward quickly with an exciting
line of new Amiga products.
This transition hasn’t been without problems. We are aware of the difficulty some of you have had in reaching us lately, and of some delay in obtaining support. We have addressed the majority of these problems and anticipate that all of you will be satisfied with the results. We have changed our Web site and domain name. Our new site is QuikPak.com and we have added some new features to enhance customer service and make communicating with us easier. Please visit our site often as this along with our advertising here will be our primary means of keeping the Amiga community up to date.
Finally, my thanks to all of the loyal QuikPak Amiga customers. We truly appreciate your support.
P. S. Please excuse the WIN 95 screen shot on the A4040L, we’re
Now Things are Happening with the Amiga QjMpak Call QuikPak @ 1.888.784.5725 or 610 666 8080 www.QuikPak.com Terrific Packages from QuikPak A4000T
* 1GB SCSI Drive
* Value Priced @ $ 1997.00 A4060T
* 1GB SCSI Hard Drive
* Value Priced @ $ 2697.00 All QuikPak Amigas come with Wordsworth
4SE, Photogenics SE, Personal Paint. TurboCalc, Organizer,
Scala, and preconfigured Internet Software from Robinson
Consulting I.S. Accelerate Your Amiga If you're looking for the
most powerful Accelerator for your Desktop A3000 4000 series
computer or A4000T, then look no further. The A4060T and A4060D
accelerators offer a 50Mhz 68060, SCSI-II wide, 64-bit EDO RAM
capable, designed and manufactured in the U.S.A., and are
Both Models are available for $ 999 Now Things are Happening with the Amiga Call QuikPak @ 1.888.784.5725 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org QUALITY QUICKLY UIKPAK www.amigasupport.com quikpak
- b-b m © s o. El . S £ © .
© -0 BED©
- ¦£5- Multimedia Story boarding, P. 12 This month, Peter has
outdone himself. There are four sections to this issue's
coverage of games on the Amiga you do not want to miss: Command
& Conquer Games on the Amiga 12 Briefs: News on Amiga
Gaming-44 Reviews 15 Caught In The Net- 16 fii * IV ‘X* .a i (
I 36 ANIMfaces by R. Smmms Mortier Only the AMIGA can boast
of AnimBrushcs. Use Shamms' technique to dabble in your own
quick and easy animations.
~~~~ Avoid Detours on the Information Draw Studio, P.15 48 Books of Note: Net Research: Information on-line by Nick Cook Avoid detours on the Information Superhighway. Daniel J. (BLAZEMONGER) Barrett has written a collection of strategies for research and discovery for everyone on the net, Magellan, P.20 DEPARTMENTS Editorial 4 feedBack 6 Index of Advertisers 40 A Photo Finish, P.34 9 New Products & other neat stuff Amiga Developers' conference, AmiCON Amiga Show, Epson, p.OS beta, PM Pro, and more.
12 Multimedia Branching Storyboarding Creation.
By R. Shamms Morlier Amiga multimedia producers need to be able to storyboard their ideas, but multimedia storyboarding incorporates necessities that animation storyboarding lacks "non-linearity".
15 Text Effects in Draw Studio by R. Shamms Morlier Using Draw Studio to customize your text.
18 Crossing the Line: Poser 2 by R. Shamms Morlier Cross-platform project ideas for the Amiga.
Creating and animating anatomical models with a Mac or a Windows PC for Amiga uses.
20 Directory Opus 5.6 Magellan by William Near GPSoftware's Directory Opus can bring your Amiga Workbench into an entirely new reality.
26 This Old WorkBench: Episode 11 A New Face for an Old Friend by Dave Matthews Magellan and Mbench Amiga Workbenches 30 On-Line by Rob Hays Spam-O-Matic It doesn't slice or dice, but it could chop out unwanted email. Updates on A-Webll and Miami TCP IP, & more.
34 A Photo Finish Creating Image Filled Text by Nick Cook Picture filled words can be worth a fortune to any layout or special graphic.
Amazing mlga JL computing O ial Co Midwest Amiga Exposition Midwest Amiga Exposition In case you haven't heard, there is an Amiga Show in Columbus Ohio on November 1 and 2. Yes, this is the November issue and you would like more notice, but unfortunately, we did not get all the particulars for this event until this issue. Yet, despite the short notice, ArniCON appears to have created quite a show.
Petro Tyschtschenko, President of Amiga International, will be on hand most of the two days. He will be giving a presentation on Saturday (final details were not available at press time) and he will also attend the event on Sunday.
ArniCON is currently contacting a wide array of Amiga companies to get them to attend the show. Nova Design will repeat their attendance from last year. However, this year I hope they bring enough product. Last year they sold out in the first few hours of the show.
ArniCON wants to make this show as big as the Gateway Computer Show given by the Gateway Computer Club in St. Louis every Spring. While neither of these events have grown to the size of the Commodore days and the AmiEXPOs and World of Commodore's, they continue to be strong events any Amiga lover should attempt to attend if they can get there.
Developers’ Meeting Following the strong lead created by Kermit Woodall of Nova Design at the World of Amiga in London and the Gateway Computer Show last March, Amiga Inc. is sponsoring a Developers' conference for the ArniCON show.
Anyone interested in attending can find sign up requirements on-line.
Amiga Inc. looks to these events as a means of bringing the Amiga development community together and to build enthusiasm for the Amiga platform. The ArniCON event is a trial run for the International Amiga Developers' Conference Amiga Inc. has planned for the Cologne Germany exposition in mid November. Cologne's Computer '97 will be held November 14 through 16 and interested Amiga Developers should look to the same on-line sign-up procedures.
Don Hicks Managing Editor Be There!
As I stated before, if you can make it to the 1997 Midwest Amiga Exposition, please do. We do not often have the ability to meet everyone in the Amiga community and I know I enjoy meeting readers every chance I get. For information on the MAE, check out their web site at www.amicon.org, contact Dave Pearce on line at email@example.com, or call a human at
Amiga Computing and Amazing After the announcement that Amiga Computing had stopped production, I contacted their offices and I was able to convince them that Amazing Computing would be a good alternative publication for their North American subscribers. They were extremely helpful and I am proud to say that Amazing will be offered to anyone in North America who still had a subscription with Amiga Computing.
This is exciting news, not only for the current subscribers, but also because we were able to secure the original database of Amiga Computing and AmigaWorld subscribers. This means that Amazing has an opportunity to rebuild the core Amiga user database on this continent. However, it also means that we will be helping Amiga companies create more "junk mail".
Unfortunately, if we are to regrow the Amiga marketplace, it will take the focused efforts of the current Amiga companies. So, I am asking a very special favor. Please, don't discard those offers in the mail. Take the time to consider their product and decide if you need it.
I personally do not want anyone to purchase a good or service they don't truly need. However, with the current state of the Amiga marketplace, no one can afford to ignore a good deal.
ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assistant Publisher: Robert J. Hicks Intern: Nicholas H. acheco Circulation Manager: Doris Gamble Traffic Manager: Robert Gamble Production Manager: Ernest P. Viveiros EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Don Hicks Hardware Editor: Ernest P. Viveiros Illustrator: Scott Brown Contributing Editor: Shamrns Mortier AMAZING AUTHORS Randy Finch Rob Hays Marc Hoffman Dave Matthews 1-508-678-4200, 1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 http: www.pimpub.com Amazing Computing AMIGA™ (ISSN 1053-4547) is published monthly by PiM Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 2140, Fall River, MA
02722-2140, Phone 1-508- 678-4200. 1-800-345-3360. And FAX 1-508 675-6002.
U. S. subscription rate Is S2S 5for 12 issues. Subscriptions
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PIM Publications Inc., P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720.
Printed In the U.S.A. Entire contents copyright!© 1997 by PiM Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from PiM Publications, Inc. Additional First Class or Air Mail rates available upon request. PiM Publications. Inc. maintains the rightto refuse any advertising. PiM Publications, Inc. Is not responsible for the claims, content, and or policies of any advertiser or advertisement.
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Send article submissions in both manuscript and disk format with your name, adcness, telephone, and Social Security Number on each lo the Associate Editor. Requests for Author's Guides should be directed to the address listed above.
AMIGA™ is a registered trademark of Amiga International Gmbh Distributed in the U.S. & Canada by International Periodical Distributors 674 Via de lo Valle, Sts 204, Solona Beach, CA 92075 8c Ingram Periodical Inc. 1226 Heil Quaker Biva.. La Verne TN 37086 Printed in U.S.A. The biggest event for the AMIGA and all AMIGA-fans in the world!
Come and see all new AMIGAS, peripherals CD-ROMs, games, applications, and, and, and... Info-Hotline: Phone +49 201 8954066 Internet: http: www.computer97.de Akdln Messe
14. -16 November Cologne, Germany Exhibition Grounds Halls 11 +12
Circle 160 on Reader Service card.
The Computer ’97 is held by: PRO ICP GmbH & Co. KG Innere Cramer-Klett-Str. 6 D-90403 Nurnberg Tel. +49 911 5325-210 Fax +49 911 5325-215 A company of the GONG-Group ICP Use our booking-office: No waiting at the ticket-office but a separate entrance!
Tickets for the Computer ’97 Tickets for Adults at 23DM_DM Tickets for Children Students at 23DM_DM Please add for P&P 5DM Total DM Valid until 15. October 1997. Please send a EC-Cheque with your order.
Address: Date, Sign: Advertising sponsored by Amiga International, Inc. AMIGA Robert-Bosch-Str. 11B, 63225 Langen, Germany Fax +49 (0)6103 5878-88 www.amiga.de Please send this order to: ICP, Innere Cramer-Klett-StraBe 6, D-90403 Nurnberg Dear AC, I read your review of Adorage (September 97 issue) with great interest. However, after I contacted several Amiga dealers, I discovered this program apparently is no longer available in the United States. In fact, one dealer told me they had not carried Adorage in over a year. I even visited ProDAD's website for a list of US distributors and was
unable to find any that carried the product.
I am surprised that your magazine included a review of a product that has not been available in the States for over a year. I realize that it takes some time to review software, but a whole year is ridiculous.
Sincerely, Mark W. Lawrimore Stockbridge, CA We knew at the time of the article that the product was older, but it was still available. Its value was that it allowed older Amigas access to some of the special effects that have become the domain of the bigger higher priced machines. ProDad was talking about upgrading the product.
We have had no word that the product is no longer available.
ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION 4x5 COLOR TRANSPARENCIES 35mm COLOR SLIDES from ALL Amiga Computer & Video Toaster Graphics
• 4000-line Film Recorder Resolution*
• NO Scanlines • Brilliant Color* Call or Write for order form,
price list, and FREE sample slides: HAMMOND PHOTOGRAPHIC
SERVICES 4301 N. 75th Street, Suite 101B Scottsdale, Arizona
(602) 949-6066 The Adorage piece was not just a review but a
tutorial. It has always been AC's policy to provide
coverage on the tools of the Amiga old or new. There are a
lot of great Amiga Software packages that were once
available from developers that are now abandoned in
mailorder warehouses, dealer shelves, and even swap
meets. If they work, we feel it a duty to show how they can
still be incorporated in our readers' work.
Dear AC, About the editorial in the September Amazing Computing. I remember seeing a commercial years ago, long before I had or even knew about the Amiga, about the boing ball.
The commercial was in Black&White and dealt with some school kids who looked like they were in the 50's. The commercial said something about 'back in the old days everything was in Black&White', and then one kid opened up his desk and there is a red and white boing ball in color. Then the kids that played with the ball became colorized, but some kids didn't and remained B&W.
Now looking back at the commercial, I think that the kids in B&W represented the Mac crowd at the time and of course the colorized kids was Amiga. 1 didn't know this was a Commodore commercial, and really I didn't put two and two together until I already had my second Amiga, and I saw the boing ball demo. But maybe it wasn't. I don't know if it was. I mean it had to be around 1985 or so, when I saw the commercial. The thing is I have never heard of anyone else mention this commercial. Do you remember it? I would really like to know.
Daniel Johnston Mr. Johnston, you are absolutely correct. The Boing Ball commercial came out in the second series (if my memory is accurate) of Commodore Amiga advertising spots. They also used a version of this in their advertising in the second or third AmigaWorld magazine and elsewhere (unfortunately, not in Amazing Computing we were not a serious magazine for the market in Commodore's eyes).
It was not a totally poor marketing concept and would have done better if Commodore had been successful in keeping the brand name in sight. To show you how well the ad penetrated the Amiga community, just take a look at one of the old Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg.
Steven Spielberg's first foray into series television was Amazing Stories and, like SeaQuest DSV years later, the design team used Amigas on the set and in post production work. The ad you mentioned is parodied in a story about a computer artificial intelligence program that creates an image of itself. The girl plays with a bright red and white boing ball which she bounces out of her field to one of the engineers (very similar to the television ad).
It is always interesting when an idea such as an ad captures the audiences' imagination. This year we have seen the success of Diet Pepsi's wedding ad, Volkswagon's two guys and a chair ad, and, some of my personal favorites, got milk ads (I love the cookies one). This ability for advertising to go beyond its focus and transcend its message helps the marketer beyond belief. We know Gateway 2000 has been able to do that with their PC products. We nmv only hope they will do the same for their Amiga Inc. division. ED. Dear AC, Really enjoy your magazine, mostly for the news and useful articles
on applications in the real world for the Amiga. Even with all the instant news on the Net, it's nice to see it in print.
I have to confess, though, that I don't even own an Amiga! The Amigas have got to go down in price or way up in speed to ever have any kind of general acceptance in a speed mad PC world. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Russell Courtenay Emmett, ID Thanks for the kind words now go get an Amiga. If the price is high, try an older machine. Getting into the Amiga OS is more than speed, it is also a new way at looking at things.
Please Write to: FeedBack c o Amazing Computing
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It is as simple as Black and White.
There is a new number to get the 1 Amiga Magazine, 1 -800-59-AMIGA Toll-Free US and Canada Amazing Computing is your best information ai publication offers the in-depth research and lonj story. Add to that AC's unique tutorials on hard you have a magazine no Amiga user should be (-'y A mazing Computing tk Acs TECH SUPER Back Issue SPECIALS!
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Midwest Amiga Exposition News!
Amiga Inc. to Host Official Developers Conference Amiga Inc. has announced they will be hosting an official Developers Conference at the 1997 Midwest Amiga Exposition (MAE) in Columbus, Ohio. Amiga developers wishing information on the conference should contact Darreck Lisle of Amiga Inc. at 605-232-6442.
Lisle told Amazing Computing Amiga that this will begin a series of Amiga Developers meetings around the world.
The first International Developers Conference will be held at the Cologne Germany show, Computer '97, November 14-16. Lisle also commented that the new developer conferences would be supported by Amiga Inc. and assisted by The Industry Council Open Amiga (ICOA).
In addition, Lisle also announced that Amiga Inc. had enlisted CU Amiga's web site in building a database of Amiga developers. Serious Amiga developers should register for possible, later contact by Amiga Inc. 1997 Midwest Amiga Exposition The Midwest Amiga Exposition will run November 1 and 2 and is being produced by the Amiga Central Ohio Network (AmiCON) user group. AmiCON expects a large turnout of Amiga users for The press releases and news announcements in New Products are from Amiga vendors and others. While Amazing Computing maintains the right to edit these articles, the statements,
etc. made in these reports are those of the vendors and not Amazing Computing, the two day event. Attendees will meet with Amiga software and hardware companies and special sessions have been setup for each day. Petro Tyschtschenko, President of Amiga International, will also be speaking.
The event will be held at The Concorse Hotel Grand Ballroom at the Port Columbus Airport. For more information on the Midwest Amiga Exposition, contact Dave Pearce (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ronn Black (email@example.com) or visit the website at www.amicon.org. Internet challenged can also contact AmiCON by dialing (614) 751-0232.
EPSON on Amiga Sources at Amiga Inc. have confirmed that Epson has agreed to work with Amiga Inc. to develop software and drivers to support Epson's full line of printers and scanners. This is the first mainstream third party support for the Amiga since Amiga Inc. was founded.
Industry observers agree that this is good news for the Amiga and for Epson.
P. OS PreRelease
p. OS PreRelease started shipping on August 6,1997. Since its
introduction, this new operating system, an innovation started
on the Amiga platform, gained tremendous interest from the
Amiga community. With this prerelease every user gets the
opportunity to take a closer look into the philosophy of p.OS
- the operating system which will soon be available for the
Amiga and many other platforms.
The p.OS PreRelease is a nearly complete operating system at a reduced introductory price. You may also upgrade this version to the final release without having to pay more than the difference in price. For DM 49.00 you'll get the p.OS PreRelease on CD ROM or on floppy. As a special introduction bonus you will receive free additional demos and tools, which demonstrates the abilities of this operating system. An on-line tutor introduces you comfortably and with the greatest of ease to all the technical innovations and allows you to become immediately familiar with this powerful operating
AMIGA inc. The features of the p.OS PreRelease (CD ROM version) include: the complete
p. OS workbench (this powerful and comfortable workbench has
Taskmanager, Taskbar, and polished Drag&Drop- and windows
technology), powerful p.OS shell (many commands with extra
options for controlling the DOS, and comfortable extras like a
history slider and Drag&Drop in the shell make its use
simple), easy to use p.OS filer (copying, viewing, searching
of files and drives, and Drag&Drop into other tasks like the
shell or picture viewers, sound players, etc.), p.OS-DOS (fast
DOS system with compatibility to AmigaDOS), and demos (various
WB games, fractal demos, creation of animations with
effects, picture viewers for different formats e.g. IFF, JPG,
GIF, PNG, etc., PhotoDirectory, Text viewer, Guide viewer
which is compatible to AmigaGuide), and an HTML-Viewer.
Stefan Ossowskis Schatzlruhe, Gesellschaft fur Software mbH, Veronikastr.33, D-45131 Essesn, Germany, Phone: ++49-201-788778, Fax: ++49-201-798447, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, WWW; http: www.schatztruhe.de Picture Manager Professional V4.0 The premiere release of the English version of Picture Manager professional Version 4.0 is now available from BlitterSoft in England. A demo version can be downloaded from BlitterSoft's WWW site: http: with representatives from Amiga Inc. Nova Design Intangible Assets Manufacturing Aurora Works GamaSoft Compuquick Media Center Amazing Computing Amiga
Report Ami'COM The Amiga Central 0hio Network proudly presents THE 1997 MIDWEST AMIGA EXPOSITION November 1 St and 2nd The Concourse Hotel - Grand Ballroom a gathering of users from far and wide... 4300 lnternational Gateway Columbus, Ohio at the Port Columbus Airport The Premier (614)237-2515 or 1 -800-541 -4574 and more Amiga User Groups than we can list here!
Sign up now! Space is going fast with more signing up everyday!
For tickets and table rental contact: Dave Pearce - email@example.com or Ronn Black - firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website http: www.amicon.org for the latest information and use our on-line form to sign up or call (614)751-0232 for more information Amiga Event of the Year!
Meet Famous Amiga Celebs!
Door prizes! Seminars!
Amiga DevCON Meeting!
Great bargains on all your Amiga needs!
Whatever you do... DON’T MISS THIS SHOW!
With Special Guest: Petro Tyschtschenko, President of Amiga International blittersoft.wildnet.co.uk pmpro.hhn or on Aminet under biz demo pmpdemo.lJha Picture Manager Professional V4 (PMPro) is a commercial image catalogization program with a large number of features for creation and handling of thumbnail tables. It is a database for loading, processing and displaying images via SuperView-Library and includes an automatic conversion function for catalogs of images, which can convert images between all file formats SuperView-Library supports and more.
PNPro can also directly scan LHA and LZX archives for images.
PMPro is 49.99E from Blittersoft, 6 Drakes Mews, Crmvnhill Industry, Milton Keynes, MK8 OER. Voice: +44-10)1908-261466, Fax: +44- 0)1908-261488 Integrated Teknoiogies Inc. Moving Integrated Teknoiogies has announced they are moving to 170 West Westfield Ave., Roselle Park, NJ 07204, effective October 1,1997. All of the original phone and fax numbers will remain the same as well as their web site and email address.
Their new quarters will provide an expanded showroom, technical, office and Circle 157 on Reader Service card.
Warehouse space to better serve both local and mail order Amiga customers. The location is only 1 2 mile off of the Garden State Parkway, providing easy access to North and South Jersey, Staten Island, and Eastern PA. Those visiting from the Big Apple have an easy route via the Holland Tunnel and Routes 1 and 9. Directions will be posted on the TTI Web Site at www.itigs.com. Integrated Teknoiogies, Inc. specializes in the repair, sales and services for the Amiga family of computers, and hardware and software accessories. To meet all of your Amiga repair needs, TTI invested in a state of the
art Surface Mount Technology Rework Station. This type of equipment which allows repairs to the component level of motherboards and other printed circuits is normally only found at large depot repair facilities.
In the area of sales, Integrated Teknoiogies, Inc. specializes in pre-owned Amiga hardware. 1TI buys, sells and trades most Amiga hardware and third party Amiga hardware products.
Integrated Teknoiogies, Inc., 170 West Westfield Ave., Roselle Park, N] 07204, Voice: 908-245- 1313, Fax: 908-245-9409.
BLANK EPROMS Commlink Development has announced the availability of Blank Eproms which is compatible with the A500, A600, A2000 and the A2500. These EPROMS are useful to those who wish to experiment with the Amiga computer at the low level software or at the hardware level, program custom O S code or write diagnostic tools.
The EPROMS are U.V. (ultraviolet) eraseable and operate at a speed of 150ns or faster. The price for the unprogrammed EPROM is $ 19.95 (U.S.) plus shipping, and includes a list of compatible device programmers (none are Amiga compatible) and documentation. These devices will also function in the A1200 when used in pairs and programmed properly.
Scott A. Martin, P.O. Box 5294, Bend, OR 97708-5294, Tel: 541-383-0510.
• AC* Please send New Products Info to: Amazing Computing,
P. O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720 FAX: 508 675 6002 AMIGA
• infinitiv Tower with AMIGA 1200 Mainboard
• Floppy disk drive 880 KB AMIGA 720 KB DOS
• internal PSU 150 Watt
• separate AMIGA-keyboad
• Operating System AMIGA-OS 3.1 Workbench 3.1
• Handbooks infinitiv A1400 Tower:
• as A-1300 Tower with additional:
• Bus-Board Zorro II with 5 Zorro II Slots
• Video-Slot optional
• pass-through A1200 Expansion-Port infinitiv A1S00 Tower:
• as A-1300 Tower with additional:
• Bus-Board Zorro II III 16 32 bit, with 5 Zorro II III
• A3 4000 CPU-Slot (for A3 4000
• pass-through A1200 Expansion-Port
• Fast SCSI-11 Host-Adaptor onboard
• Video-Slot optional “Snap-and-Click” The infinitiv Towersystem
is not just a handsome Towersystem offers space for all
Amiga-typical extensions easy access to the main board. The
modular Click” mechanism allows expansion internally via or top
of the case through the specially designed top-case
Manufactured by MicroniK Computer Service MicroniK The Wait Is
The waiting has come to an end. With the new infinitiv towersystem, the international Amiga community can now find a professional, high-powered-multimedia-solution on AMIGA- basis for private use. It is produced by the German company MicroniK. For this development MicroniK has just received an official AMIGA-license. With it, MicroniK is the first licensed Amiga International, Inc. manufacturer of AMIGA-computers in Europe with worldwide sales.
Infinitiv 1200 Tower Upgrade:
• Add you own A1200 motherboard
• Add you own disk drive
• 100% compatibility with any A1200 peripherals
• Use Amiga or Win95 compatible keyboard
• Expandable on future purchases
• internal PSU 150 Watt infinitiv A1300 Tower: MicroniK Towers
are distributed in North America by the following Authorized
Dealers: Paxtron Corporation
(800) 595-5534 Software Hut (800) 93-AMIGA Videolink Canada (416)
690-1690 pomredby Multimedia Branching Storyboarding
Creation by R. Shamms Mortier In animation, a storyboard is
a layout of the animation's "keyframes", those frames in a
sequence of images that are seen as important or "key" to
Storyboarding is an art in itself, a way to lay out the story so that it can be produced and created with a clear vision of the way the production will proceed.
Amiga multimedia producers also need to be able to storyboard their ideas, but multimedia storyboarding incorporates necessities that animation storyboarding lacks, specifically "non-linearity". An animation for TV or the movies is completely linear, that is, the story progresses in a line from start to middle to end.
Jl |H| mtTTi . , ,VV_. X-yjfrM Figure 1. Here’s a funny little storyboard for a short presentation. It involves just two text screens and has no real educational value at all, except to introduce you to the process of symbolic storyboarding.
While animation storyboards, or any production storyboard for TV or movie production is linear, multimedia productions, however, are seldom linear. This is because they entail what we call "branching", parts of the presentation that reach decision points, places where there is an option of how the presentation will unfold and where it can g°- At a certain point in a multimedia production, let's say one that is made for a CD-ROM title, a question may pop on the screen that has several possible answers. Depending which answer is selected by the viewer, the story proceeds in an alternate
If a question has three possible answers, there needs to be three separate planned routes that continue from that point so that the answer and its consequences can be explored. One or more of these answers may reach a dead end, so the audience is allowed to retrace their steps.
Another answer or two may wind up at the same place, just talcing an alternate route to get there. Yet another answer may allow the viewer to skip ahead to more advanced options, and more decision points. You can readily see that the complexity of a multimedia production far outweighs that of a standard linear production.
A multimedia storyboard is laid out like a diagram, and is very different from the linear storyboard which is laid out... well., linearly, like a comic strip. Multimedia storyboarding has roots that go back to the 1960s when CAT (Computer Assisted Learning) was first being developed. In CAL, a monitor was connected to one or more videodisk or tape players. Text would pop to the screen asking multiple choice questions. Depending upon what the learner chose as answer, the tape or disk player would whir away, taking the learner to a video taped or disk-based movie segment, or even to a flashing
screen and a buzzer that indicated a wrong answer.
CAL died out, only to resurface later as what we now call "multimedia". CAL storyboarding has its roots in computer programming. You could just as well substitute "go to" and other statements for the symbols.
Multimedia storyboarding is also the roots of the theory and practice of Web page design.
Symbols, not Words Since multimedia storyboarding resembles a diagrammatic chart more than a comic strip, and since diagrams have long depended upon visual symbols as a part of their structure, it is no surprise to learn that symbols also play an important role in multi- media storyboarding.
It has been said that the human mind can recognize concepts structured visually about a hundred times faster than the same data represented by words alone. The important aspect of this argument is that first the mind and eye have to understand exactly what the symbol represents in terms of concepts.
A lot of work has been done around what symbols "mean" over the years, with a recognition that the meaning of a specific symbol is based overwhelmingly upon what we have come to learn about it as part of our cultural heritage, how that symbol or like symbols are used in our perception of everyday experience.
There also seems to be some non- culturally tied common perception of certain visual symbols that allows them to be understood as "meaning" something across all temporal and geographical-cultural borders. The circle, for instance, relates a general conceptual meaning identified variously as "wholeness", "completeness", and "centerdness" by just about everybody, no matter the age they live in nor their place of origin.
The important consideration in using symbols as elements of multimedia storyboarding is to use those symbols that you understand if you are going to be doing the finished production, or that you can be sure that someone else understands if they are going to do the finished producVisit The Amiga Web Directory!
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Tion. The best way to do this if the storyboard is going to be interpreted by someone else is to include a simple "symbol key". A symbol key shows the symbols visually and explains each in a few simple words, thereby connecting visual with verbal learning.
Music backdrops, effects like fades and wipes, etc.) can either be incorporated into Data Screen symbols or have their own symbols. I prefer incorporating this data because assigning separate symbols to addendum information can Important Symbols in Multimedia Storyboarding Symbols are needed, in fact vital, for the following diagrammatic purposes when creating a multimedia storyboard: Start Point, Data Screens (visual and verbal), Decision Nodes (Singular questions, decision points, and multiple-choice questions), Answers that start new exploration paths, End Point(s).
Addendum data (narration scripts, No VEMBER 199 7 13 I would also make sure that connecting paths, with embedded directional arrows, connected ail of the progressive data. See the accompanying figures for examples of different basic multimedia productions.
A Suggested Symbol Set Based upon both the cultural and general understanding of visual symbols, here is what I would choose to represent the needed diagram data (as long as I was the one responsible for doing the finished production or that my symbol choices were acceptable to the person or group doing the final production): Start Point- Pentagon Data Screen- Rectangle Decision Node- Circle Answers to New Paths- Triangle (Point to new path) Addendum Data- Parallelogram (Rectangle with skewed sides) Stop Point- Octagon (a "stop" sign)
• AC* Text Effects in Draw Studio Using Draw Studio to customize
and enhance your text.
By R. Shamms Mortier Several issues ago, we looked at the Draw Studio package from LH Publishing in the UK. One of the most useful features in Draw Studio is its ability to generate effects for text.
Draw Studio comes with its own set of fonts, aptly named for selected British towns (and even a typeface called "Remington Steele"). If you want to add your own fonts to this list, they must be PostScript PFB sets. A perfect source would be fonts from PageStream, which load to this list easily. I was also able to add the Egyptian Hieroglyphic font sets from Deniart Systems, giving me access to all of their wonderful symbols as targets for Draw Studio manipulations.
In this article, we will look at a few different ways that you can use Draw Studio to customize and enhance a text block. We will look at the Warp Controller, The Rexx Scriptor, and the PostScript File Translator.
The Warp Controller As an effects generator, this is a place where Draw Studio truly shines.
The Warp requester allows you to apply Skews, Perspectives, Bends, Waves, Wedges, and Bulges to selected graphics and text. You can determine the intensity of the effect by moving a slider in a positive or negative direction. As an alternative, you can also select to manipulate an on-screen warping envelope, forcing the selected graphic or text block to assume a new distortion.
This is one of the best vector warping modules I have seen on the Amiga, and far outweighs the standard envelope warping systems USED AMIGA EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
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• Accelerators, memory SCSI cards BUY SELL USED NEW AMIGA SYSTEMS
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407-636-3393 email@example.com ¦ jm» i ¦mfmrmi'in in iiKi irv Load 8avo Modify Viou Pr.iu Ldit Conf iq Holp Quit Hiro II i ddon I rial I Zflijf 1 7Buf2_| r o 111* i o Po inf Color Or t il | jrrt Sdo | T op Per | I In Out 1 Undo x §22 ¦ 2 Y 326 .3 | Z- 957 . B | G 5B0.0 II Figure 4. Once generated in Draw Studio, 3D conversion can be initiated with Pixel Professional.
Circle 155 on Reader Service card.
Contained in many non-Amiga high end DTP programs. It is more intuitive to use than similar effects generated by the competition.
Operation is simple and intuitive.
A preview screen shows you a blocked area that represents your selected graphic. As you move the control slider to apply negative or positive adjustments to the selected effect, the preview area changes accordingly. I like the Perspective and Wave generators the best, but you may find yourself devoted to other effects.
When you apply the effect, your selected text block on screen is transformed.
The real magic only begins with applying a Warp however. If you select Use Envelope in this requester, instead of instantly applying the effect to the text block, a Bezier area is drawn around the selection. This allows you to manipulate standard bezier control handle for the effect, customizing the preset. When ready, simply doubleclick the left mouse button, and watch the text block conform to the bezier shape.
=l3l .....I Arexx Scripts Draw Studio is fully Arexx configurable. A library of scripts comes with the program. Most are for creating vector objects like bursts and other shapes, but two are very useful applied to text blocks: Hard and Soft Figure 6. Soft shadows applied to the text blocks with the Draw Studio Rexx script.
F h r?K Til it m i ¦: I 1 I mlI© f|| i a.-. Now: 6419 Lyndale Ave. S. AMIGA ¦srnnirraa Toaster Casablanca Vision lltea Shadows. The Soft Shadow effect is especially useful, since it creates a very believable drop shadow. Text blocks targeted for soft shadows should be grouped with the shadow prior to exporting. They can be exported as either vector or bitmap art.
« pn |,J !'i( .'HI 1 ¦OTTTrS.fr* ¦ild.UVJ'TM LightWave and used as 3D object elements. To do this, I had to first feed them through Pixel 3D Professional. I tested three separate alternatives for saving the files, and here are my results: PostScript (PS) Convert to Curves: Works well in PixPro Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) Convert to Curves: Works well in PixPro PostScript (PS) No Curve Conversion: Does not work with symbol fonts PostScript File Translation When you want to save out your Draw Studio creations as non-bitmap files, export them as PostScript files.
This shapes them into vector graphics, so they can be imported and used in any program that utilizes PostScript files. One of my targets was to see how they could be imported into AV Solutions, Inc.
(612) 698-1175 Mpls., MN Circle 147 on Reader Service card.
Conclusion: Always select to Convert Text to Curves (paths) when saving out Draw Studio work for 3D applications, especially in Pixel Pro. None of these files, by the way, would import into LightWave directly without Pixel Pro intervention first.
Bottom Line Hopefully, it has been demonstrated that Draw Studio is an excellent companion for creating either 2D bitmap or 3D object effects for Amiga applications. It is also hoped that Draw Studio will find a wide enough market so that it continues to be developed, since it already has vector and bitmap features no other Amiga software offers. If you need software that offers what Draw Studio does, help support a very fine Amiga program and purchase a copy of your own.
DrawStudio lmageStudio TextureStudio Graham and Andy Dean c o LH Publishing 13 Gairloch Avenue, Bletchley MK2 3DH, United Kingdom firstname.lastname@example.org Also mentioned: Hieroglyphics Font Set DeniArt Systems Box 1074 Adelaide Station Toronto, Canada M5C 2K5 email@example.com
• AC* Poser 2 Creating and animating anatomical models with a Mac
or a Windows PC for Amiga uses.
Crossing the Line: Cross-Platform project ideas for the Amiga by R. Shamms Mortier As discussed in the September issue of Amazing Computing Amiga, many Amiga users also work with Windows and or Macs, either from software or hardware emulators or by having access to non- Amiga platforms (or through LAN connections). It is important to know when, where, and how to use the Amiga in cross-platform environments. In this continuing column, we will look at non- Amiga software (and sometimes peripheral hardware) to see how it can be incorporated into your Amiga projects.
Anatomical Modeling Poser 2, from MetaCreations, is an anatomical modeling and animation system available to Mac and Windows users. If the Gateway Amiga finds its way into a PowerPC or Pentium environment, Poser 2 may become accessible directly from the Amiga side. Today, Poser 2 projects have to be ported to the Amiga after being configured under a Mac or Windows umbrella. At the end of this article, we will suggest ways that this can be accomplished. Right now, let's look at what Poser 2 is and what it does.
=1 Ttrcnr ¦ r:ttt. I r noi - rPrn r r Poser 2 MetaCreations (formerly Fractal Design) developed the Poser application to fill the need of digital artists and animators to create realistic anatomical characters. Poser figures can be adjusted and manipulated into a pose which can be animated as a stand alone actor, or in association with other Poser figures. Poser 2 has an easy to understand interface for creating and adjusting the posed figures, as well as an easy to understand animation timeline interface.
The interface for Poser 2 contains four control windows in addition to the composition window (where the models are actually posed for rendering): Parameter Dials, Tools, Library, and Animation Controls. The Parameter Dials Window features interactive "dials" that adjust selected body parts of a posed figure or other imported elements in the composition window (resizing on any axis, orientation, movement, and tapering). The dials can be set to target poser body parts, the whole figure, the viewing cameras, and the three scene lights.
7m jiJe ir**m urn ¦¦n Figure 1. The Poser 2 interface, showing a figure to be exported as a DXF object.
Ra cesses The Tool Window displays a set of icons for adjusting posed elements, whole figures, cameras, and lights.
Tools work in conjunction with Parameter Dials. The Poser Library Window allows you to load and save any of the four Poser elements: Poses, Bodies, Cameras, and Lights. A collection of presets is also included in each category. And lastly, the Animation Controls Window lists every element that makes up a scene so that key frames can be set either globally or part by part.
Extensive Poser 2 Features Poser 2 allows you to import Wavefront, 3DMF, DXF, and Fractal Detailer objects that can be used to replace any selected body part. This allows you to release Poser's human heads with that of a selected animal model, which is great for creating things like Minotaurs.
Any selected Poser element can be made invisible. This allows you to animate the remaining elements as stand-alone figures.
Imported object elements can be glued to selected Poser body parts, so that horns, wings, swords, clothing, and other object paraphernalia can move in conjunction with the body part in an animation.
Poser's Animation timeline controller is very simple to operate.
Keyframing works by selecting a frame in a sequence and moving an element of the model on the composition screen. Keyframes can be added and deleted.
Inverse Kinematics can be set for either or both arms and legs. This glues the extremities (hands and feet) in place, so that moving elements higher up in the chain gives an animation a more organic look.
FROM THE MAKERS OF AMIGA REPORT COMES: r I Figure 2. The same DXF object, as in Figure 1, has been exported to and rendered in Lightwave (the DXF was translated into a LWO object in Pixel Pro).
Textures map to Poser 2 models with Implicit (parametric) Mapping, making them seamless in appearance as the model moves. Poser 2 can also translate any selected texture file to a Bump Map.
You can import either graphics or suitable movie files as Poser 2 backgrounds.
You can render Poser 2 graphics or animations as silhouettes, outlines, wireframes, hidden line, lit wireframe, flat shaded, smoothed renders, or full textured renders with customized sizes and DPI settings to screen or disk.
Poser 2's Figure Types include male and female nudes, business suited, casual dress, skeletons, and stick figures. Figure heights include baby, toddler, child, juvenile, adolescent, ideal adult, fashion model, and heroic model. From these basics, you can create every body type imaginable (and some you can't imagine).
Hand types include twenty poses, from relaxed to gnarled to the peace sign.
Amiga uses for Poser 2 Since Poser 2 writes out DXF files, you can use Pixel Professional to import the DXF models and write them out again as LightWave or VideoScape models (which Aladdin 4D can then use). The Poser 2 models can be written out with separate body parts that can be moved into various positions in an Amiga 3D program for animation. DXFs can also be exported as single model files, so you can use LightWave bones for the animation controls.
Poser 2 animations can be written out as single frame PICT of BMP files.
This allows you to use ImageFX's excellent translation features to transform them into IFF single frame files, which can then be compiled into an animation file.
Poser 2 movies can be used as a backdrop in your Amiga animations.
You can also render them to a 2D plane in LightWave, Aladdin 4D, or other Amiga 3D programs, and drop out the background color. This will make the animation look like a 3D animation in the selected Amiga environment.
Poser 2 graphics and animation single frames can be image processed in Nova Design's ImageFX powerhouse, adding all sorts of fancy effects.
Poser 2 System Requirements To create figures in Poser 2, you have to have access to one of the following platforms, or an Amiga emulator that can handle these configurations: Mac: '040 based processor with FPU or PowerMac, System 7.5 or later, 12+ MB of RAM (16+ recommended), hard drive with 20 MB free, color display (24-bit recommended), CD- ROM drive.
Windows: 486DX, Pentium or Pentium Pro, Windows 95 or Windows NT, 16 MB RAM (20+ recommended), hard drive with 20 MB free, color display (24-bit recommended), CD- ROM drive.
Poser 2 Suggested Retail Price: $ 249.00. MetaCreations http: www.metacreations.com
• AC* The new,video line about ADC Iga!
Ami AMIGA NEWS • TUTORIALS REVIEWS • GAMES DEMO TAPES • ART GALLERY SUBSCRIBE NOW!
1997 issues featuring scenes from Dave Haynie’s video “The Deathbed Vigil,’ including never before seen footage!
Over 60 minutes of fun, informative video - times a year!
NEXT ISSUE COMING IN OCTOBER 5 Issues $ 11.95 each 3 Issues $ 12.95 each ' 1 issue $ 14.95 (+2.05 s 5 h per issue) ORDER TODAY! Write to: Legacy
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Make checks, m.o.’s payable to Legacy Maker.
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Circle 150 on Reader Service card.
November 1997 19 Directory Opus 5.6 Magellan GPSoftware’s Directory Opus can bring your Amiga Workbench into an entirely new reality.
By William Near Magellan sails again!
If there has been one thing Amiga owners could count on during these trying times, it has to be GPSoftware's relentless upgrading of Directory Opus. What started out as a single-tasking, dual-windowed directory utility, has now blossomed into a multi-threaded, multiple-windowed, Workbench Replacing, directory utility extraordinaire even that is putting it mildly!
The latest version of Directory Opus is 5.6 Magellan.
This is much more than a simple bug-fix and superficial rework. Many of Dopus' features have been enhanced to allow easier access, configurability, and power. There is an abundance of new features too.
So, just as the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, and his crew, were the first to sail around the world back in the sixteenth century, you too can be one of the first to navigate your Amiga via the twentieth-century incarnation of Directory Opus named after the famous navigator. Pay no attention to the fact that old Ferdinand was killed on his famous voyage you'll find this voyage much less life-threatening.
Newlcons To begin with, Magellan now comes with built-in support for Newlcons. You can now enable Newlcons' support with a click of a mouse button, or even discourage the use of Newlcons if you come across any and you don't currently use them on your machine (but, why wouldn't you want to?) There are also options to dither the images down to the number of colors you are currently using and you can select the pen precision too (you can also do this from the Newlcons' Prefs program). There is support for using Newlcons' images for all system images and in your button banks.
Additionally, you can turn off icon borders on a global or individual basis, the accidental movement of an icon's position while double-clicking it has been remedied, and the ability to split long icon names into two lines has also been added. An area of the Magellan screen can even be defined that designates where newly appearing icons will be placed, and with what priority.
Magellan offers a new icon information requester with extensive pulldown menus for: icon border (on or off), icon label (on or off), display Newlcon image, display original icon image, strip Newlcon image, and strip original icon image from the current icon. The icon's complete path is also shown within a window in the information requester.
A new Command Icon option has been implemented in Magellan. You can now define a command and have an icon automatically assigned to the command and left-out on youi Desktop. By clicking on this command icon, the specified command will be executed.
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- 7R-9} ttS-ITi-l t ait.io Here is an icon-action Magellan
Lister. The fuel-gauge is present, along with the lock and
iconify gadgets, Status Bar (which shows the number of
directories, files, and bytes that are selected from the total
number available), Lister Command and Device pop-up menu
gadgets, toolbar, and editable directory path line.
Magellan also offers a name-mode Lister that contains all of the features of the icon-action Lister, plus a Status gadget (this shows what mode the Lister is in: SRCE, DEST, or OFF.)
Clicking on any of the user-specified Lister Field Titles above the file list window will automatically sort the Lister’s contents in ascending or descending order according to that field,
i. e., NAME, SIZE, DATE, etc.) ¦ “ [ ¦ 'a ¦ B
• SRCE " | Access ¦ lb : -run!
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1 uni Left. This is the Environment requester. Most Magellan’s functionality is controlled from here.
Of Icon Borrlor Icon L ili d Show Newtcon* Imtuje Show OrHjmal Imuye Strip NewiewK UitiflB Strip Origin til Imtttje Environment The Environment GUI has been enhanced to allow greater control over Dopus' configuration. Finally, Dopus has the ability to display any image as the Desktop backdrop, Lister and Group windows, and Requesters, providing you have the appropriate Datatype for the specified file type.
The Hidden Drives list has been reworked so that when you enter the Environment GUI a device's entry will not be deleted upon resetting, even if that device is not always mounted. You can now set the Lister's default size and position, colors, fonts, and status bar text from a separate Environment area.
There are two new features available in Listers that I find quite useful. The first feature is the ability to do in-line editing of a file's name, comment, date, and protection bits, from a name-mode Lister. To accomplish this feat, click the mouse button(s) that you specify and a cursor will appear on the line of the selected file. By moving the cursor with the cursor keys, you can directly edit any of the aforementioned attributes without pulling up a single requester!
Hitting the Return key will execute the changes you've made immediately. The second feature is a Free Space Gauge option that adds a fuel-gauge to Listers that shows the free space available in relation to the used space on the specified device. The color of the gauge can also be adjusted.
Desktop Folder Magellan introduces a new twist on the old left-out icon routine. Instead of just placing a reference to the file or drawer on the Workbench, as the original Workbench does, Magellan takes this a step further by actually leaving the real file or drawer's icon out on the Workbench (when in Workbench Replacement mode), or on the Magellan main screen. You must exercise caution when deleting a file or drawer from the Desktop Folder because the actual file or drawer will be completely erased from your hard drive or other device.
There are two main ways to move files or drawers to the Desktop Folder. The first method is to right-click on the file or drawer's icon to activate the pop-up menu and then select the Copy To Desktop option. The second method is to drag 'n' drop a file or drawer's icon to the Desktop, thereby causing a pop-up menu to appear (if enabled). The pop-up menu gives you four options: make the icon a normal left-out (just like Workbench does), copy the icon to the Desktop (leaving a copy in the original location too), move the icon to the Desktop (this will physically move the icon to the Desktop, and
is the option that requires the most care when deleting), or Cancel.
WORK CHDT j Information N«nc iWORK_ Typ* Fair File System Hinder (fcbirii ifevtfe. Urutfe State Rea*! Writa tfced 323,591 300 6M Fth 5 J5 261 M&byfK 231 6J* 6t& Q53 CttbtfTCi This is Magellan’s enhanced Icon Information requester. From here you have access to the usual information, plus control over Newlcons’ attributes on an individual basis, and the icon’s physical location is also shown (note: the pop-up menu is covering the icon’s protection bit area in this example.)
Magellan’s FTP Address Book can be used to store your favorite sites for easy double-click access, (bottom) From the Site Details’ requester, you can edit your entries in the Address Book.
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[U-n-lr LINES IB Magellan even sports a colorful, graphical device Information window.
I Icon :WultiCX 0S3( Tool) HI tn-lc, 1 B!,¦!«: it *Ui: pnPTT. | This is Magellan displaying a Start menu for my Internet clients while in Workbench Replacement mode. I made this simple menu, with subitems, by drag ‘n’ dropping my Internet drawer into the Start menu editor.
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V’ Hunt ttiLi&i i tut |dit J .2 hour lIolI j Tlpouiandt dtor CV V-* ¦ ’ tl i_Siivr Ult " J CtlillL'l | Magellan’s Options' requester handles most of the file management settings, along with some cosmetic duties.
You can define the default action for a Desktop Folder operation (Create Left-Out, Copy to Desktop, Move to Desktop, or None) from the Environment requester. The default action will automatically occur whenever you drag an icon to the Desktop, or you can enable the pop-up menu so that it appears every time to ask you what you'd like to do with the icon in question.
The FTP module has undergone extensive reworking.
More efficient memory usage by the module has resulted in faster remote directory listings and transfers that are up to five times faster than before. Direct transfer between remote sites has also been implemented, so you can copy or drag 'n' drop files between remote machines.
The FTP Address Book has been updated so that double-clicking on an entry will automatically connect to that site, or you can single-click on an entry and then delete or edit it. In addition, a NOP function has been added to help keep sites active with an idle timer mechanism. This will allow you to stay connected without actually doing anything at the site; thus eliminating time-outs.
Start Menus While Start Menus were a semi-hidden feature of Dopus 5.5, and not that easy to work with, they are now a full-featured addition to Magellan. For those of you unfamiliar with Start menus, they appear as a single button on the Desktop and have pop-up menus attached to them.
A Start menu can be created by drag 'n' dropping a directory onto the Start menu editor. This will create a popup menu containing all of the items within that directory.
Drag 'n' dropping files onto a Start button will add them to the existing pop-up menu. For those of you who don't like to drag 'n' drop files and directories, you can create a Start menu the old fashioned way by manually editing the menu items from the requester. You can add an image to any of the Start menu's items, and submenus are available too. A Start menu or two can most certainly save precious space on crowded Desktops.
A face-lift for Workbench.
I can only think of two pieces of software that will enhance your Amiga computing experience immensely: Workbench 3.1 and Directory Opus Magellan in Workbench Replacement mode. Using Magellan in this mode is like having a new version of Workbench installed, your productivity and ease-of-use will at least triple. Just being able to do more than one Workbench operation at a time is well worth the price of admission. There's nothing like being able to format a disk, copy files from one device to another, and launch your favorite application(s), all at the same time no more waiting for a busy
pointer to return to normal before doing anything else.
I would not recommend using Workbench Replacement mode if you have a slow Amiga, or if you're short on RAM. Magellan does require some resources, but if you have at least an '030 and an extra 2 Mbs of RAM to spare, by all means go for it! Having a graphics card is not a necessity, but it will make your computing experience faster and more colorful, and at a higher resolution to boot.
One final note, you can always boot your computer back to the normal Workbench mode by holding down the shift key as it reboots. This will execute your standard loadwb command, instead of the Dopus Workbench Replacement mode's loadwb command.
Etcetera Directory Opus Magellan also includes several other bonuses. Here are just a few of them: Improved CyberGraphX support will be a boon to all you graphics card owners out there. The CyberGraphX enhancements include: faster icon dragging and display speed routines (even with 24-bit backdrops), a rewritten Text viewer that allows faster access to your data and better scrolling on CyberGraphX screens.
The compatibility with MUI, MCP, Datatypes, and many more programs has been greatly improved. Now there is full Newlcon image support for Buttons and Images, plus better animation file support for Dpaint IV and Ppaint AnimBrushes.
Final Words I am impressed with the latest incarnation of Directory Opus and I wouldn't be caught computing without it. In my estimation, its use as a Workbench replacement is invaluable. As a longtime supporter of Directory Opus, I can only say that each new release never ceases to amaze me with its new features and configurability.
GPSoftware PO Box 570, Ashgrove, Brisbane Australia 4060 Phone Fax: +61 7 33661402 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org »AO PAXTRON IS THE AUTHORIZED U.S. DISTRIBUTOR FOR MICRONIK THE MODULAR DESIGN OF THE INFINTIV TOWER SYSTEM OFFERS NUMEROUS EXPANSION POSSIBILITIES.
ADDITIONAL BAYS CAN BE ADDED THROUGH A SIMPLE “SNAP AND CLICK” MECHANISM. THIS NEW CREATIVE DESIGN ALLOWS FOR ENDLESS CONFIGURATIONS AND YOU NEVER RUN OUT OF TOWER SPACE.
For a complete list of all the plug in accessories in the MicroniK line, including classic cases for the A2000, A3000, and A4000, check out our web site or send us E-mail inquiries. Dealers, call for pricing or check out our dealer page on line.
INFINITV 1200 UPGRADE $ 299.00
• Add your own A1200 motherboard
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• Expandable on future purchases
• All the above features PLUS a 150 watt power supply $ 359.95
INFINITIV A1400 TOWER $ 849.00
• Same as A1300 above with additional:
• Bus-Board Zorro II with 5 Zorro II slots
• Video-slot option
• Pass-through A1200 expansion port INFINITIV 1300 TOWER $ 649.00
• infinitiv Tower with Amiga 1200 mainboard
• Floppy disk drive 880 KB Amiga 720KB DOS
• Internal PSU 200 watt
• Separate Amiga keyboard
• Workbench 3.1 operating system Manuals INFINITIV A1500
TOWER $ 1199.00
• Same as A1300 above with additional:
• Bus-Board Zorro ll lll 16 32 bit, with 5 Zorro ll lll slots
• A3000 4000 CPU slot (A3000 4000 accelerator cards)
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• Video slot option Zorro II expansion $ 209.00 150 watt power
supply upgrade $ 69.00 PCMCIA adapter $ 39.95 A1200 expansion
keyboard case $ 49.95 Video slot adapter $ 85.00 A2000 classic
tower* $ 243.00 A3000 classic tower* $ 439.00 A4000 classic
tower* $ 398-00 'call tor additional accessories and
configurations SPECIAL PAXTRON OFFER ACCESSORIES For the first
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Keep checking our web for tower pictures and Micronix news.
MicroniK towers may be ordered from Paxtron or any dealer on our list, First come, first served!
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A2000 Computers TOP DOLLAR PAID If you are sitting with an A2000 in your attic or basement not being used, this is the time to turn it into cash. We offer top dollar for any A2000 and even pay the UPS shipping costs! Trade in your A2000 towards an A3000.
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AMIGA REPAIR CENTER OPENS TO THE PUBLIC!
Are you tired of waiting 4 to 6 weeks to have your motherboard or computer repaired? Are you further frustrated upon discovering that the repaired motherboard or computer is still not functioning properly? Paxtron has the solution. We can turn around your broken equipment generally within 24 or 48 hours after it is received. Our prices are more than fair. Our replacement parts or components are new and our technicians were originally factory trained by Commodore Amiga.
On July 2,1997, PaxtTon was appointed an authorized Amiga repair center by Amiga International. Up to now Paxtron has provided sendee in large volume for dealers and corporations worldwide. With the enlarging of our service center to the general public, end users will now have the same top quality access to our Commodore trained technicians and the most sophisticated diagnostic and surface mount equipment in the industry. Our technicians' telephone hours (to answer tech support questions) are between 2-3 PM Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
If you want to take advantage of our rapid turnaround and low repair costs, give us a call on our loll free number. Our service department will give you an RMA (Return Authorization Number) and instructions for sending in your equipment.
AUTHORIZED AMIGA REPAIR CENTER MODEL COST MODEL COST A1000 SIOU.OO Flat Rate A1200 $ 95.00 plus parts A500 $ 54.00 plus parts A4000 $ 169.00 plus parts A2000 $ 85.00 plus parts A4000 Tower $ 185.00 plus parts A3000 $ 105.00 plus parts CD32 $ 95.00 plus parts A3000 Tower $ 169.00 plus parts CDTV $ 95.00 plus parts A600 $ 65.00 plus parts (Other Amiga Items Call for Pricing) NOTES:
1. Above pricing is for repair of basic Amiga PC Boards only and
does not include floppies or hard drives.
2. Above pricing is for PC Board repair. If entire computer is
sent, add $ 15.00.
3. New motherboards are available for the following systems:
A500, A500-plus, A2000, A3000, A1200, A600 & A400Q.
28 Grove Sireel. Spring Valley. NY 10977 914-578-6522 « BOG-81 5-3241 800-596-5534 « 888 PAXTRON * FAX 314-57&-6550 Hours: 9-5 pm ET Mon.-Frr. * Add £6.00 DPS Charges • MC VISA * Prices sub|eci lo change E-mail Io« orders $ correspondence; paxlrcincorp'Wrckrral.cam WESHtP WORLDW DE1 Orders 800-93-AMIGA A Info 610-586*5703 Tech 810-588-8640 FAX 610-588-5706 Hours; Mon-Fri 9 to 6 Sat - Sun Closed
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469. 95 Video Toaster 4.1 Upgrade CD
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24. 95 For other cmlom chips, call or visit our weh site.
A500 Peripherals BlgFoot 200W P.S.-A500-600-1200 $ 84.95 Commodore A500 Power Supply
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$ 69.95 16Mb - $ 139.95 7 Modems & InterHet Sporster 56K x2 Fax
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89.95 For the latest Products, Prices, Detailed Info, Tech
Support, t Amiga News, visit our Web Site at www.softhui.com
CD-ROM Drives Mitsumi 4X SCSI CD-ROM Drive Internal model
$ 70.95 External model $ 129.95 Pioneer 12X SCSI CD-ROM Drive
Internal model $ 149.95 External model $ 209.95 Toshiba 12X
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A1200 Computers Back in stock front Amiga International A1200 w Magfc Bundle $ 539.95 A1200 w 260Mb HD Magic Pack $ 549.95 220 Volt PAL models are available - Please Call
3. 1 Alls AS320 3.1 Kit for the A500, A2000, & A2500 - $ 94.95
AS330 3.1 Kit for all A3000s $ 106.95 AS340 3.1 Kit for all
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3. 1 ROM for A500, A600, A2000 (Specify) $ 37.95
3. 1 ROM sat lor A3000, A4000, A1200 (Specify) 51.95
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A4000, or A4000T- $ 109.95 A2000 series - f 114.95 A1200 series
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A4000T 060 50Mz 6Mb 1Gb HD $ 2599.00 A4000T 040 25Mz 6Mb 1Gb HD $ 1899.00 Micronik Towers We are now carrying the new lowers Horn Mlcronlks. They are olllclally licensed Horn Amiga international.
A1200 Infinitiv Tower case $ 299.95 1300T1 Infinitiv computer 549.95 1400TI Infinitiv computer 849.95 A2000,3000, and 4000 classic towsr cases Call Othar products accessories Call Megachip A500 2000 $ 104.95 Cobra 1240 33Mz RC CPU 149.95 Cobra 1240 40Mz EC CPU 169.95 Ferret SCSI-2 Cobra Mongoose 84.95 FPU and RAM prices Call SpitFire SCSI2 Controller 79.95 RapidFIra SCSI2 RAM Controller 139.95 WildFire 060 50Mz for A2000 1279.00 Intemo PCI Graphics Card lor WF Call 3126 RAM Exp. A3 4000 OK 229.95 The Clock A1200 17.95 This Old Workbench: Episode 11 A New Face for an Old Friend Magellan and
Mbench Amiga Workbench Alternatives by Dave Matthews Since beginning in "This Old Workbench", I have covered many programs which were designed to complement the Amiga's Workbench. Well, here are two programs aiming to replace the Amiga's Workbench entirely: Directory Opus Magellan, and Mbench.
Directory Opus Magellan Short: Workbench replacement Author: GP Software Version: 5.65 Commercial, ~$ 80 Website: http: www.gpsoft.com.au index.html Directory Opus (DOpus), from GP Software, has a long and storied history with the Amiga. Starting out as a file manager, each new version brought enhanced power and flexibility, and pleased long time users and newbies alike.
When version 5 of Dopus shipped, however, the happy family of users was divided. People, it seemed, either loved it, passionately, or they hated it, passionately.
Dopus 5 was no mere upgrade, but rather a complete redesign, with a completely different look and feel. Moving beyond the two window, source and destination, file manager paradigm, Dopus became a complete Icon and Window GUI system in its own right. Dopus managed to not only mimic the Amiga's own Workbench, it could actually be used to replace it. With additional features like multi-threaded operations (copying a file from one window to another won't lock everything up until the copying is done), enhanced "show as text" display of files, and the powerful and flexible file operations carried
over from earlier versions, many users have indeed replaced their long suffering "loadwb" command with the Dopus version. Others, to be sure, found the new Dopus so monumentally different from what they were used to, and what they expected, not to mention consuming much larger amounts of hard drive and RAM, as to be unusable.
A full review of Directory Opus Magellan (here after referred to as Magellan) I will leave to more capable and experienced hands than myself. Since Magellan can act as a replacement Workbench, and particularly since some long Figure 1 (Top). Magellan’s Workbench Replacement.
Figure 2 (Bottom). Magellan Display Mode Settings.
CD-ROM Software Titles NEW, lower pricing and NEW titles. Purchase 4, or more, and receive FREE SHIPPING, 3D Arena $ 37.95 r ' 3D CD-2 Images 3D CD-1 Objects 17 Bit Continuation CD
12. 95 NEW p.OS Hot, new Operating System 17 Bit 5th Dimension
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14. 95 Micro R&D Volume 2
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32. 95 Moving Textures 100.200 (Spec)
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7. 50 Multimedia Sackdrops
24. 95 AmiNet Set t or 2 (Specify)
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10. 95 AmlNet Set 3 or 4 (Specify)
37. 95 Multimedia Toolkit 2 (2CDs)
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37. 95 Music MODs & Sound Samples
8. 95 AmlNet 8,9,10,11,12 (Specify)
17. 95 JetNews Offline f or 2 (Specify)
16. 95 AmlNet 13,14,15 Specify)
17. 95 fetwork CD 1 or 2 (Specify)
19. 95 AmlNet 16,17,18 (Specify)
17. 95 network Cable CD32 to Amiga
30. 00 AmlNet 19,20 (Specify)
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55. 95 Demo CD 1,2 (Specify)
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137. 95 Eric Schwartz CD-Archive
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45. 95 Gold Fish 2.3 (Specify)
16. 95 World of Clipart Plus
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44. 95 Wrath of the Demon
5. 00 Horror Sensation
26. 95 XiPaint 4.0
55. 95 Hottest 4,5,6 (Specify)
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169. 00 1950 or 1960 Serv Man (Specify)
19. 95 Internet's Avalon CD-ROM
44. 95 2091 Service Manual
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139. 95 PageStream 3.2
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99. 00 PC Task 3.1
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E Copyright 1397. LonyAjrtMKtii (Fx. Ml Rights Reserved standing behavioral problems in that regard have been addressed, it now is fair game for "This Old Workbench."
As you can see from Figure 1, the Magellan interface mimics the Workbench very closely, and operates in much the same manner. Basic usage of Magellan requires very little learning, for those familiar with the Amiga. Point and Click, Icon Dragging etc. act as you would expect. Magellan also now supports Newlcons, and in fact is compatible with most of the utilities and commodities 1 have featured in this series.
Replacing your Amiga’s venerable Workbench is not a task to be taken lightly, however.
After all, as GUIs go, the Workbench has quite a lot to offer, so why fix something that isn’t broken?
Replacing your Amiga's venerable Workbench is not a task to be taken lightly, however. After all, as GUIs go, the Workbench has quite a lot to offer, so why fix something that isn't broken? Of course, Magellan can work in conjunction with the Workbench, for those who want their Workbench unsullied. See Figure 2 and 3 for Magellan Workbench Emulation and Display settings.
One of Magellan's biggest improvements is in the area of multitasking. As stated earlier, drag a file from one Workbench window to another, and you must wait until that operation is finished before you can use the Workbench for anything else. Magellan avoids this problem by using "threads." Simply put, copying a file from one window to another can be thought of as a thread. Want to copy another file? Use another thread. Multiple operations can proceed at the same time. It's simply a more flexible form of multitasking. See Figure 4 for this ability in action.
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Another major improvement is in dealing with files. Version 3 of the Amiga's OS introduced the Datatype system. This flexible system allowed programmers to add support for multiple formats without constantly having to revise their main program. A datatype capable paint program can load in that new picture format just as soon as a datatype is available for it, without needing an upgrade at all.
Datatypes are quite powerful, but the Workbench is somewhat lacking in utilizing them. Insert that PC CDROM of scenery images, and double click on a picture. What happens? Not much.
Unless the picture has an icon with the proper tooltype, such as Multiview, the Amiga doesn't know what to do with the file, even though it has a datatype for it. While there are several programs to handle this for the Workbench, Magellan is far more flexible and powerful in this regard.
Once you have Magellan configured, you can view pictures, unpack archives, play sound files and mods, in short, deal with virtually any type of file. Configuring these filetypes can be a real pain, but once done, Magellan is a joy to use. Happily, Magellan has help available at the press of a key, and Aminet has sample settings (in the BIZ DOPUS dir) you can download.
Also, be sure and check their website for addition info, bug reports, and upgrades. See Figure 5 for Magellan File Types Editor.
Mbench vl.O Short: Workbench replacement 1.0 Author: email@example.com (Mark Hewitt) Version: 1.0 Aminet: util wb mbench.lha Website: http: www.geocities.com SiliconValley Lakes 1258 mbench.html Shareware: 10 UK Pounds Mark Hewitt's Mbench is another attempt to improve on the Amiga's Workbench. Perhaps a bit less ambitious than Magellan, it also seems a bit closer in spirit to the original Workbench.
The installation proved Mbench to be a work in progress, and I had to finesse the Installer to get it installed correctly. Once installed, I had no further problems with the operation.
For a 1.0 version (or 0.9p as the Title states) Mbench seems quite stable. See Figure 6 for a screenshot of Mbench, and Figure 7 for the Mbench prefs program, as well as the enhanced menus, and the handy Assign List Window.
As you can see, Mbench looks very much like the Amiga's own Workbench, right down to supporting enhancements like Newlcons, Magic Menu and Copper Demon, and other "This Old Workbench" items I have covered. In fact, the only programs I was unable to use with Mbench were Workbench menu hacks like Add tools and Rekey it.
These are closely tied to the Workbench menu strip, and also failed with Magellan. Interestingly enough, Magellan runs just fine under Mbench.
In fact, you can use Magellan's Workbench Replace mode to replace Mbench's replacement Workbench.
Like Magellan, Mbench improves on the Workbench's multitasking. This is a major boost in productivity, and something the Workbench has needed for a long time. See Figure 8 for a screenshot showing multiple copy operations.
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Circle 137 on Reader Service card.
Some Mbench features:
• internally multitasking.
• directory caches.
• system wide file notification.
• file requesters, progress gadgets etc. for copy, delete etc.
• open a window directly for any location.
• quick start menu for launching programs or running scripts to
do things such as open an Mbench window.
• assign list window.
• arexx port.
• online context sensitive help.
There you have it.
Both Magellan and Mbench offer a replacement Workbench, improved multitasking, and many other features, while maintaining high compatibility with the Amiga's Workbench.
Magellan, harkening back to its roots an adventurous soul who likes the cutting edge, you just might try one or the other.
As a directory utility, has far more extensive file operations, and is a more polished presentation, but Mbench is less expensive, and uses less system resources.
If you find the Amiga's Workbench needs a boost, or if you're just Please contact Dave Matthews either via Amazing Computing Amiga or at his email address: email@example.com ?AC* Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints TO ORDER CUSTOM REPRINTS OF ARTICLES IN: Amazing Amiga JL COMPUTING" £7 CALL JILL HUGHES AT:
(800) 259-0470 Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints nn ling amiga
telecommunications Spam-O-Matic It dosen’t slice or dice,
but it could chop out unwanted email. Updates on A-Webtl
and Miami TCP IP, plus AOL buys CompuServe.
SPAM V LjC-’S
• » » SP _ m SPAM __;.j
k. ---- The past few months should have given you a good overview
of the newsreader and mail programs for the Amiga available
for Internet use. There are others in the AmiNet archives, but
either they are intended for use with specific network
systems, or I was unable to get them to work on my A1200.
Amiga programmers being the enterprising sort, I'm sure that
more of each type of program will appear as time goes on. This
month we will start with a look at a newsreader accessory that
can help extract a measure of retribution.
Spam-O-Matic One of the early Saturday Night Live skits featured Dan Akroyd in a bogus commercial selling a product called a Bass-O-Matic. In the commercial whole bass were put into a blender, and turned into a fish puree to be drunk as a health drink. I have to say that my first thought when I saw Spam-O-Matic was, how can you do that to canned meat with a computer program?
Spam, which incidently celebrates its sixtieth birthday this year, is a love- it or hate-it kind of food. For our purposes however, spam is not a food, and is universally hated. Spam on the Internet can have several definitions, but it is most often referring to UseNet postings that either have nothing to do with the topic they are posted in, are deliberately insulting or goading, or are an inappropriate use of the bandwidth.
Examples of the first type are often seen from users that cross-post the same message to many different newsgroups. The second type are exemplified by the taunting messages sometimes posted by PC users in Amiga groups (hopefully the reverse never happens). The third type would be something like posting a Uuencoded binary message in a discussion group, or pyramid schemes and chain letters. UseNet lore has it that Spam came to be called that after a user quoted back an obnoxious message, and ended it by tacking on a chorus from a Monty Python song. "Spam spam spam spam, spam spam spam spam."
Kirk Strauser was annoyed enough by spam to produce Spam-O- Matic. This is an Arexx script that is SPAM, the SPAM logo, and the SPAM can are all trademarks ofHormel Foods Corporation and it has been said that SPAM is quite tasty on toasted wheat with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
Intended to work with Thor and YAM.
The script, when called, sends copies of the offending message, complete with routing headers and a short explanation to the author of the original message, along with the postmaster on the offenders ISP, The National Fraud Information Center, and the Bureau of Consumer Services.
As Kirk says in the documentation, this is essentially guaranteed to ruin at least one person's day.
Being an Arexx script, Spam-O- Matic should be relatively easy to alter to suit your own Newsreader Mailer set up. The script is well commented, showing what each section is accomplishing.
HTML 3.2 compliance, including frames, tables, image maps, and more.
In addition, Awebll allows you to select between three levels of HTML tolerance. Strict mode allows official HTML 3.2 codes only, while tolerant mode displays many of the Netscape and Microsoft specific extensions.
Finally, compatible mode gives Awebll a shot at displaying even badly coded pages. Image decoding is handled by DataTypes rather than internally. The advantage to this way The author calls Spam-O-Matic "HolyOathWare", meaning you have to take an oath to email him with problems, suggestions, and further email addresses you may find to be appropriate to the anti-spam campaign. If you have been annoyed by spam once too often, the 4k file spam- o-matic.lha is in the AmlNet subdirectory comm mail.
A-Web II A-Web II has recently been updated to version 3.0,and a new demo released. You will recall that A- Web H is the only Amiga Web Browser currently available at the time of this writing, that does not use the Magic User Interface. Rather, A-Web II uses the Class Act system of interface enhancement.
In addition to some re-designed graphics on the tool bar, version 3.0 boasts many enhanced features. A new cachebrowser (Figure 1) provides a graphic usage meter, displays the contents organized by date, type, or URL, and provides two different search functions. The grayed-out buttons visible are part of the demo version limitations.
One neat addition, is the dropdown list to the right of the URL string gadget (Figure 2). When you select the gadget, the list pictured appears. Select the appropriate URL prefix, and it is copied to the string gadget, ready for you to complete. Version 3.0 offers full of doing things is that updated DataTypes are likely to appear more often than any major program could be updated. HTTP, FTP, and Gopher protocols are supported internally, while Telnet, mail, and news are supported by external plug-ins.
The demo version is available from the biz demo subdirectory on your favorite AmiNet mirror. The 413k file is named aweb.lha. You can also get it from the Amitrix site at: http: www.amitrix.com aweb.html NATIONAL AMIGA AMIGA PRODUCTS AND SERVICES INTERNATIONAL www.nationalamiga.com Our full catalogue is available online in 60 different currencies, or call write for a free catalogue on disk!
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Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm EST AmigaFest? Hmmm. Maybe we can do that... Miami Holger Kruse has been busy with updates to his Miami TCP IP system.
Currently at version 2.1g, more bug catching, and a re- compile with SAS C are the main improvements. But the docs mention big plans for the near future. Version 2.2 shouJd feature a new replacement for the Amiga serial.device, and an option to switch between different GUI engines.
Also in the works for the not-too- distant-future, is a Miami Deluxe, aimed at heavy-duty usage with features like multiple interfaces open simultaneously, enhanced ISDN support, and more. If you operate an Amiga server or router, keep your eyes open for this. For the latest versions of the main Miami program, as well as the specific binary for your CPU, check out the Miami home page at: http: www.america.com ~kruse amiga Miami.html If you prefer, you can ftp the files from: ftp: 220.127.116.11 pub miami AOL+CompuServe=?
Once again as I'm finishing this column, news reports are talking about America OnLine and CompuServe.
This time it is a done deal. Pending Federal approval, AOL will buy CompuServe, in a three-way deal.
AOL gets more than 100,000 modems in the Csi network to add to their own system, as well as all of the Csi membership. This will make AOL the largest on-line service and the largest Internet Service Provider in the country, possibly the world.
AOL says that CompuServe changes are planned. What this might mean in the long run for Amiga users on Csi is still a mystery, and likely will remain so for now.
Where To Find Me email@example.com http: www.kiva.net ~rhays firstname.lastname@example.org
R. Hays5on Genie 72764,2066on CompuServe COMPUQUICK MEDIA CENTER
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PICASSO 4 $ 440 3128 RAM CARD $ 235 USED AMIGAS.
CYBERVISION 64 $ 289 MEGA CHIP $ 185 AMIGA REPAIRS APOLLO MEGA CHIPS $ 155 WE TAKE TRADES.
WWW.INFINET.COM ~COMQUICK, EMAIL: COMQUICK@INFINET.COM SECURE ORDERING FOR INTERNET ORDERS.
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If you run an Amiga specific BBS, send me the information callers will need to access your system. Phone number(s), modem speeds, software settings, etc. As a service to the Amiga community I will include the information I receive in this column from time to time.
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That's all for now. See you on line!
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Creating Image Te Picture Filled words can be worth a fortune
to any layout or special graphic.
By Nick Cook DRAWSTUDIO A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what's the exchange rate for a word filled with pictures?
We'll let late-night philosophers ponder that question while we explore a way to fill headlines with images. In this technique, the characters serve as "windows" which let the reader see through them to a graphic beyond.
Select the font to fill carefully.
Choose a wide font, since a skinny one defeats the purpose. If you use PostScript fonts, you can "fatten" a font with "Width" commands, located in the Type menu (PageStream 3) or Font menu (DrawStudio). Also stay away from "frilly" fonts; when all those curlicues are filled with images, the headline looks muddy.
The DrawStudio illustration program provides the easiest way to create photo headlines (Figure 1).
STEP ONE: Enter your text. Click on the pointer tool (the arrow). That makes the text an object.
STEP TWO: Select Attributes from the Object menu. Click on the Bitmap button in the Fill Colour section, then on the Edit button. If you've preloaded bitmaps with the View Bitmap select the desired image from the list.
Otherwise, click on New then Edit to go to the Edit Bitmap Fill panel (Figure
2) . Click on the New button to bring up a file requester. Once
you've loaded a bitmap, simply click on its name in the list
to use it.
DrawStudio treats each text object (or grouped single characters) as a single unit. There are two options for bitmap fills. "Tile" repeats one image throughout the text object, while "Complete Fills" will squash 'n stretch one image to fit inside a text object. A repeated or distorted picture wasn't the desired effect for "CALIFORNIA," so the state name consists of three separate text objects: "CALIF", "FOR", "NIA". A different photo filled each chunk.
PAGESTREAM 3.2 PageStream 3.2 lets the user make image-filled headlines inside the program.
STEP ONE: Enter your text. Click on the arrow icon, then on the text to make it an object.
STEP TWO: Load your image.
STEP THREE: Stack the image on top of the text object. Or stack the text object on top of the image and send it to the back. Either way, you want to end up with your text object behind the image.
STEP FOUR: Make the text and image objects active, either through shift-clicking both or clicking the left mouse button and dragging the dashed line around both.
STEP FIVE: Select Mask Mask Graphic from the Object menu. The text "fills" with the image. (Figure 3).
The pre 3.2 versions of PageStream didn't include the Mask Graphic command. Substitute this workaround for Step Five: Draw a rectangle around the text object that is as wide and tall as the image. Click on the arrow icon and select both the rectangle and text objects. Choose Object Merge Paths command (this creates a composite path of the two objects). Select the Object Line & Fill menu to open that requester. Change the box Fill to solid White and toggle off the line stroke. Stack this compound object on top of the image.
Using the Alpha Channel Alpha channel composing (see Amazing Computing Amiga, October
1997) creates image filled text in paint and image processing
programs, allowing you to insert them into word
These are steps for Photogenics, but any program with alpha channel masking will do.
STEP ONE: Load the background photograph. Make it the Secondary Image with the picture bar, menu or key commands.
STEP TWO: Create a new black page from the Projects New menu.
The new image will be the same size as the photograph.
STEP THREE: Now load the text; in this case, a black and white image from a clipart collection. Make this the Alpha Channel by using the picture bar, menu or key commands.
Finally, choose Invert from the Alpha menu. You also can use the Window Enter Text menu item to type on a blank page. Remember in alpha channels, black blocks the image, whjie white lets it through.
STEP FOUR: Activate the primary image, select the Image Compose menu item. Since Photogenics defaults to Alpha Channel composing, you should see the text filled with the background picture. Click OK to make it final and save it (Figure 4).
The combination of the words and pictures can be an effective way of communicating a concept economically (Check the travel industry ads in your Sunday paper for examples). Perhaps image filled headlines are worth more than a thousand words.
• AC* Figure 4: To quote Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble:
“Charge it!” ANIMfaces 5 AnimBrushes, only the AMIGA can boast
of AnimBrushes. Use Shamms' technique to dabble in your own
quick and easy animations.
R. Shamms Mortier Remember the Mr. Potatohead game that you used
to enjoy when you were younger? Well I do, and that memory has
motivated me to experiment with a digital method for
achieving a similar creative environment with my trusted
Amiga. The whole object of the Mr. (and later Mrs. and Ms.)
Potatohead was to create characters with interchangeable
parts, a natural and simple operation when it comes to digital
animation, especially on the Amiga.
Why "especially on the Amiga"?
AnimBrushes. No other platform can boast of AnimBrushes. The closest thing to them is the Image Hose tool in Fractal Painter, but that's more of a painting tool, and not as useful for animation. And animation is the real deal, when it comes to Amiga potatoheading. In the original game, you could replace one mouth or eye type with another, but the final result was always the same: a featured face that remained in whatever shape you set for it. Certainly, the mouth and eyes wouldn't move.
When it comes to graphic interest, there's nothing like animation to mesmerize an audience. We equate movement with life and living things, so graphics that move seem alive and intentional, as if they were trying to get a message across to us. This is true even when the image is simplistic, like an animated stick figure. These ANIMfaces are much more than stick figures, yet they are also far less complex to generate than modeling 3D animated models.
O o i
- ¦ Using the techniques described in the ANIMfaces article, you
can generate a whole library of animated face elements useful
in the creation of animated personalities.
What You Need Here we go again, asking you to activate one of our two favorite 2D art and animation Amiga favorites, Dpaint or Brilliance. The option is yours, though for this exercise, I prefer Dpaint. If this were an exercise that demanded the use of a 256 color palette, I would probably select Brilliance. Since we will only require 32 Low-Res colors however, I am choosing Dpaint, because its tools are more familiar to most Amiga users. It is assumed that you have one of these programs, and that you are familiar with it. If not, please re-read your program documentation.
Caveats and Cautions We are going to use a 32-color Lo- Res palette because it offers more color options and animations can get by without the anti-aliased look of Hi-Res (at least these can). It is highly recommended that you design the color palette first. If your character is going to be human-like, alter 16 of the 32 colors for skin tones. This will allow you to achieve smooth blends in needed facial areas. Reserve some other colors for eyes, hair, and possible props (a pipe, glasses, etc.). So the first step is to think about the character(s) you want to create, and to adjust the
Our digital Potatohead is going to need a number of AnimBrushes. You should make each AnimBrush 10 frames long. You should not need any more frames to get your point across.
Be sure that each AnimBrush has the same number of frames, so everything works in expected ways.
What Moves... What Doesn’t Our Potatohead will have some features that move, and some that don't need to. Of course, you can make everything an AnimBrush, but faces usually work best with some stable elements and some that are animated.
On a human-like face, the two elements that should definitely be animated are the eyes and the mouth.
Optional movement can be targeted to Orders: (800) 735-2633 RMA: (408) 624-5879 Tech & Info: (408) 626-2633 Fax: (408) 625-6588 VisionSoft
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COD V-A-V I eyebrows, the nose (twitching), and the ears (wiggling). The face usually remains stable, though when you get the hang of this procedure, you can create AnimBrush faces that puff and morph in other ways, adding to the visual fun.
How to Proceed Amiga Developers, User Groups, & Dealers DO IT NOW!
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We will allude to eye and mouth AnimBrushes, allowing you to target other facial parts later, after you get some experience with this technique.
The process is actually quite simple.
1. First, create a library of parts that will not have to move.
These include global face shapes, the nose, ears, and other peripheral elements (hair, beards, glasses, mustaches).
Save all of these parts in directories named for the part (Faces, hair, etc.).
2. For the eyes, first set up your 2D painting software (probably
Dpaint or Brilliance) so that you have ten frames. Draw an eye
on frame 1, and draw another in the same position on frame 2.
One technique you can use is to copy the exact eye from frame 1 to frame 2, and alter it a bit (roll the eyeball, close the eyelid, etc.). Repeat this process on each of the frames, and preview the animation to see if it needs to be tweaked.
A Special Offer from the Author!
Shamms has created a special library of ANIMfaces on 5 High-Densit PC- formated floppy disks for your enjoyment and exploration to go along with this article. Thev include 30 hair, IS faces, 7 Noses, 13 ears, 30+ Other parts (animated and stable), 36 AnimBrush Mouths, over SO different eyes, and loads of sample ANIMface animations.
Please send a check, money order for $ 24.95 or $ 29.95 for 10 Low-Densitv Amiga formatted disks (plus $ 5.00
3. For the mouth, follow the same basic principle laid out for
the eyes. If the mouth is to have teeth, and they don't have
to move, paint them down in the same position on each frame
first. Then go back and paint in lips on each frame, adjusting
the shape slightly from frame to frame. You can do this on the
same frames as your eyes are on, just leaving space so they
can be picked up as a separate AnimBrush later.
4. Pick up the part (eyes or mouth) as an AnimBrush (read the
software documentation if you are unfamiliar with how to do m
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This). Store each AnimBrush away as a separate file in a directory named for its part (Eyes, Mouths, etc.).
5. When you have enough elements in your parts directories,
create ten frame animations that make use of the desired
elements. Save the animations as Anims or as single file
animation sequences (the latter is invaluable when you want to
use these animated faces in a 3D environment).
ANIMfaces in a 3D Environment Aladdin 4D, LightWave, Real3D, Imagine, and Cinema4D all allow you to place single framed animation sequences on selected objects. This is very important when it comes to using your ANIMfaces in a 3D environment.
You could, for instance, create a 3D figure, and map the ANIMface single framed animation to its head with front projection planar mapping.
Perhaps you might want to explore mapping the ANIMface animation to the front of a cube, so that it plays like a TV in your 3D scene. You could even map the ANIMface to a bouncing sphere. The explorations are endless. If you do use this article to create some ANIMfaces, I'd like to see the results.
Just send them to me in care of Amazing Computing Amiga. Have fun!
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stepchild of Sim City that animated tactical wargame has
installed the mantra "real-time strategy" in the PC
vocabulary, and the computer game industry hasn't even
started to get over it. By some accounts three dozen C&C
variants are slated to appear on the IBM this year alone.
Foundation by Paul Burkey, for Sadeness Software Small wonder. Balancing free-form combat and resource management, these games, at their best, evoke happy childhood memories of woodsy summer afternoons spent capturing the flag or ensconced in attic or basement, setting up forts with attendant armies of little plastic men and then blowing the blue bejesus out of them.
And the Amiga?
To date (early September), the only commercial games that fall even vaguely into this school predate C&C by years those being Westwood's exquisite port of Dune II and, even more vaguely, Gremlin's Utopia, its New Worlds data disk and its sequel, K240. But wait & watch. By year's end, it appears we'll have Command & Conquer and its medieval cousin, Warcraft, several times over, with more to follow in the new year. Not the actual items. (At least, not yet.) But absence of the actual items has never stopped enterprising Amiga game coders, who seem to follow the dictum: "If they won't come, we
will build it."
And build it, and build it and build it.
(And build it.) This issue, we'll survey about a dozen C&C-ish games under construction for the Amiga. The ones that can actually be played are promising indeed, and some that can't at least look or sound encouraging.
Foundation by Paul Burkey, for Sadeness Software Some months back, someone started a thread in the comp.sys.amiga.games UseNet newsgroup based around Blue Byte's reported willingness to have third- party coders convert its games to the Amiga. The notion was welcomed warmly.
After all, the German developer is respon& Conquer the Amiga sible for the Battle Isle series (which ended for the Amiga with History Line 1914-18) and its The Settlers is one of the best-loved Amiga "God" games of all-time. So it is hardly surprising that Amiga gamers have lusted in their hearts after the current Battle Isle 2220 and The Settlers II.
Foundation should make that need much less urgent. Currently better than three-quarters complete, this CD-ROM strategy epic promises to be the God game to end all God games. A semi-functional beta of the pre-Sadeness version recalled the Settlers games with a touch more atmosphere. (An in-game rooster is crowing as I type. No, now it's a morning dove.) But Foundation has since undergone a major expansion, and its web page now makes reference to WarCraft n, Command & Conquer, Populous and Mega-lo-Mania.
And, naturally, a considerable something of its own.
I don't have nearly enough space to mention all the features here, so I'm just going to focus on a handful that struck a chord with me. For instance, in an evident nod to PowerMonger, you can extract a little resume on each of your tiny people not simply basics like name, age and employer, but destination, inventory and more. You can check any building to see who's present, and then issue individual commands to them. (Little men and little women left to their own devices in the same house will have even little children.)
You can select multiple soldiers to attack a given building or person thus addressing an inherent shortcoming of the proscribed combat in the Settlers games. A "bubble" help system, like that used by Mac and Windows 95 programs, is in the works.
The building-construction menu will be location-sensitive. (That is, select a site along the coast, and maritime-related structures will be featured in the construction menu.)
You can conduct research into, and thereby improve, most features in the game or steal inventions and concepts from an enemy. Diseases can be discovered and cured, spells created and cast. (Magic may be a dicey business, as it's said to be created from cremated corpses!) You'll be able to trade goods with other players or buy and sell them on the stock market. And you can even be in the game: (You just have to Email the developer a scanned mugshot.)
(http: www.sadeness.demon.co.uk foundation.html) Almagica: Scions of a Forgotten World by DSP, for Vulcan Software Almagica was the first of its type, and, to the best of my knowledge, still the only Amiga C&C variant that's fully playable (via two demos available on the net).
Almagica follows closely the play mechanics of Blizzard's Warcraft games. You dispatch workers to mine gold and chop down trees for money and raw materials, use it to build structures and use these structures to produce troops to extend and defend your little realm.
It is nicely put-together. However, it has been a while since anything new has surfaced on Almagica. In the meantime, the competition has made major strides, and it may behoove DSP to upgrade the spec a bit (if it hasn't already done so). At last report, the developer was considering inclusion of traps and neutral troops that might take your side or work against you (a nice touch). I also hope they will broaden the playfield from the narrow ones used in the demos (which means the game offers a minimum of the nasty surprises in which its models specialize).
Note: It doesn't really fit into this story, but Vulcan's also planning to publish Breed 2001 a Utopia-like blend of Sim City and conquest that may appeal to fans of the C&C genre.) (http: www.ind.mh.se ~ing9435 DSP ) Battlecraft Ravager's Reality Not quite as well known as its cousins, this straightforward Warcraft II clone from the author of Marathon seems to be coming along nicely, and the current build is pleasantly close to the original in polished look and feel. (Not to mention sound it uses some of the same audio samples.)
However, this Dutch production still leaves me with a consuming sense of details-still- to-be-filled-in including proper docs, without which it's hard to judge exactly Forgotten Forever by Charm Design how functional Battlecraft is or will be. I could squeeze production out of certain structures and make my people tramp all over creation, but 1 couldn't persuade 'em to fight. That said, it's certainly heading in promising directions including a versatile map editor and a fully-crafted version can't be too far down the road, (http: cybercomm.nl ~peterdb rav_ami.html) CounterStrike by
Daniel Allsopp The initial demo for this C&C clone looks and sounds good, but it has little more than curiosity value. The demo, an early mock-up under the name Command Strike which was designed to test frame rate using graphics and sounds borrowed from the original game, is essentially nonfunctional. Not much can be done apart from plunking down a couple of buildings and a wall and making the two on-screen troopers speak.
A new demo was said to be imminent in August, but at press time (early September) it was nowhere to be seen. The author's web page at http: homepages.enterprise.net dallsopp has also disappeared. Hope this isn't a bad sign.
The Game by Rune Espeseth and Espen Bernstsen The Game is the C&C game as senior thesis. Everyone else was making databases, but these two Norwegian computer- science students decided to reinvent a favorite pastime. And, with the help of Amiga artists met via UseNet and the IRC, The Game has reached a rough beta state supporting only graphics cards. An AGA version is running behind.
Look for the capacity for huge maps to permit varied tactics; support for sound cards; archeologists who will recover lost technologies which may boost or impede your progress, or prove irrelevant; the ability to set way-points for your units which will navigate intelligently; and screen sizes up to 1280 x 1024. (No web page yet.)
Forgotten Forever Charm Design This Hungarian venture reportedly predates C&C. It started out as a Dune 11 variant with better graphics, a larger playfield, more buildings and vehicles including ships and aircraft and null- modem support. The arrival of C&C preempted much of Forgotten Forever's feature set. But early screenshots on AmiNet led to a flood of suggestions, and, in the process of implementing them, the game was almost entirely rewritten.
The final version should include 50 to 60 missions; work happily within the operating system (including multi-tasking); use maps up to four times the size of those in Dune II; include 50 vehicles (operating on land and sea and in air, a la Red Alert) and 25 to 30 buildings, each with its own animation; and provide sampled speech and multi-language support, (http: dragon.klte.hu ~zavacki ) Maim & Mangle Deimos Design This C&C variant once on, then off is now on again with a largely Canadian team under the aegis of Deimos Design. Its architects aren't simply aiming to replicate C&C, but
surpass it to an extent that will make Pentium owners jealous of Amiga owners all over again. There's nothing to look at yet, but if Deimos can deliver the features now on the drawing board, they have a good shot at it.
Among other things, Deimos Design is planning to do a lot with light and its absence. Night combat will be included.
Vehicles will have headlights, bases searchlights, troops night-vision goggles and flash grenades. Explosions will light up the surrounding area and may reflect off certain surfaces. By the same token, some units will be able to operate on water, with the surface displaying ripples (and possibly reflections).
The landscape will be true 3D: meaning hills will interfere with units' lines-of-sight, and that canyons, gullies and groves of trees will offer concealment. Some units will be able to scale cliff faces. (How about allowing commandos to tunnel and plant explosives?) Units will travel slower on rising ground and faster on declining.
And artillery on higher ground will have greater range.
Technology isn't a given. You'll have to conduct research to improve it. But the hand of man pales beside that of Mother Nature. Look for snow, rain, dust and lighting storms, and if you've built surveillance satellites, cloud cover may obstruct your view.
So where can you buy this? Easy there.
Deimos is aiming to have a demo ready in fall for prospective publishers it's been approached by three and to release the game by mid-'98. (http: wwvv.surfcity.nb.ca ~apollo mm )
H. A.R.D. Corps by GeoSync
H. A.R.D. Corps GeoSync This work-in-progress, from the one- man
coding machine behind Star Fighter (see "Caught in the Net."
On page 46), purports to see an unabashed clone of C&C.
However, at this writing, I don't have much more to go on than the screen shown above.
(The author reports that progress has been slow on Corps, but promises a demo soon.)
1 don't like to go out on a limb based on screenshots. But with Star Fighter as its resume, this bears watching, (http: www.ozemail.com.au ~geosync ) FUBAR The Game of War (Q-Group) The creators are aiming for a highly- customizable 1- or 2-player game of conquest that will eventually accommodate up to four via serial link and TCP IP.
"Combine North and South with Civilization, chess, Risk, Cannon Fodder and the popular PC game Command and Conquer into one," read the docs for the game's germinal "command center" the only part of the game available for inspection. "If you still don't get it, think guns, explosions, plans and World War." (http: homepages.nildram.co.uk ~oondy ) Zonal Division and SpaceLander Blackweb Development & Mattias Karlsson Do these two belong here? Maybe.
Maybe not. While roughly C&C-like in appearance, they are not real-time games, but turn-based, with an underlying grid structure and movement points that give the games a chess-like atmosphere. And marginal docs make it difficult to judge just where they are bound. Then again, Interplay's M.A.X. was turn-based, and wound up very Command & Conquer-ish indeed. So we'll have to see, eh?
(SpaceLander: http: www.algonet.se
Ugly Mountain Experience Project 1 don't have anything hard on this one.
At last report, this Norwegian team was preparing an editor for its C&C-style game and looking for map designers, but no other details were available at press time. (They were on vacation.) Email should go to Hauk.Langlo@Stud,hivolda.no. Briefs Cheers, mate. England's Vulcan Software has opened a division in the US. Vulcan Software America, headed by Steve Ocepek, will handle retail and wholesale support and media relations for North America. The first Vulcan product issued under this new arrangement is The Strangers a Double Dragon-style beat-em-up for CD-ROM (Vulcan's first CD product)
that's just out as we go to press.
Ocepek's Sagittarius Software a separate company won't be selling Vulcan's products anymore. But it will now be handling the extensive line of FI licenseware which includes plenty of games following 5th Dimension Software's recent buy out of FI. (FI and 5th Dimension were the two largest Amiga licenseware houses in Europe.) Look for a licenseware section next issue.
Amiga Quake I've been leaked some additional tidbits on Amiga Quake. A source close to the project reports that v. 0.85 reaches 20 frames per second on 060-equipped Ami gas but only when displaying nonactive playfields (presumably those without monsters or other moving objects).
Moreover, a grab of the configuration screen indicates that oh, happy day the developer plans to deliver on the feature set of the original IBM version.
Among other things, it displays checkboxes for TCP IP and serial connections; directories for "extra games" (presumably add-on levels) and "pak" files (graphics and sounds); a VCR function; and a checkbox for CD sound. And it appears the game is intended to run in just under 6 megs of memory a good idea, since many upgraded A1200s have 4 megs of extra RAM on their accelerator card.
3D Construction No light burns more brightly than in the darkest night, and in the rich darkness that shrouded the Amiga throughout 1996, Alien Breed 3D II: The Killing Grounds appeared to be that light. This prime 3D shoot-em-up was to ship with an editor that would, in theory, extend the game's life much as user-created Doom editors had extended that of Doom for as long as players were willing to build levels.
But Team 17 somehow left the editor out of the shipping version, and the one uploaded to the web a few weeks later proved a disappointment poorly documented, awkwardly implemented and generally guaranteed to distance from the game's internals the very gamers who should have been embracing them. The result is that no more than a handful of AB3D2 levels have appeared we'll have a run-down on them next issue and that any extended life AB3D2 has enjoyed is more a function of the game's infernal difficulty.
Vulcan has taken the reverse approach: The editor comes first. 3D Games Creator (aka 3D Environment Construction Kit) allows designers to create detailed true 3D games a la Quake with all the accoutrements (odd-angled walls, stairways, soda machines) you'd expect.
The included V ulcan 3D Player allows players to load up your world and damage everybody in it, and Vulcan's announcement expresses the fond hope of an Internet library consisting of thousands of 3DGC "wad" files. (Suggestion: A Quake-to- Vulcan convertor utility would provide instant access to an already immense library of levels.)
The construction kit will require an AGA system or graphics card, a hard disk and at least 6 megs of RAM. (Alas, there's no demo or screenshots yet; the textures weren't final at press time.)
In other V utcan news, look for a high- spec Virtual Cop clone to appear early in '98. Vulcan chief Paul Carrington reports that Hard Target is "entering full steam in development." It's described as a "full screen animated 3D Scenic Shoot em up" (whew) that will require an AGA system with 2 megs of chip RAM, 8 megs of fast RAM Fast and a quad-speed CD-ROM drive. Early screens suggest the graphics will see a significant boost over Sega's influential polygon-based rail shooter. (The characters are ray-traced.)
Amiga Games Magazine Dies What looked briefly like a ray of hope has morphed into another grim sign of the times. In late July, a new Amiga games magazine was announced the only one serving that diminished market. Less than two weeks later, its parent publication, Media Soft's Amiga Review, shut down apparently taking the infant Amiga Gamer with it.
In a press release, AR editor David Pettifer blamed declining sales due to refusal of other magazines to accept advertisements a stance he attributed to the threat of competition. The attempt to break off Amiga Gamer from AR as a separate magazine, with its own distinct audience, had been undertaken in an unsuccessful effort to recover access to that advertising space, he reported.
Media Soft itself isn't closing. After a period of reorganization, it's expected to redirect its efforts toward publications for other markets publications it will prepare, at least in part, using Amigas.
England once boasted a half-dozen monthlies dedicated to the Amiga games market, but the unstaunched bleeding of said market since The Liquidation has slowly killed them off. The last hangers-on were Amiga Power, which succumbed about a year ago, and Amiga Action, which went through the windshield some months later.
Xpilot Happily, AP Lives on in the form of AP2 a website (dspace.diaf.pipex.com ap2 usr55000 randomize.html) of irreverence equal to the dead magazine's, where a former staffer charts AP's history in snappy, multiple-linked and often hilarious detail. Good reading.
Finally, Holland's Paul Van Der Valk (best known as the author of the quartet of Poing Breakout clones) indicates he's working on an Amiga backend for Galaxy a play-by-mail intergalatic wargame that's traditionally been well-supported with Amiga tools and utilities. The backend is said to be less sophisticated than the Windows version, but supplied with some distinctive new features. An early beta version can be grabbed from Paul's website (www.luna.nl ~poing). (Oh, and by the way, Poing 5's just out at press time.)
AmigaMUD & Xpilot Cyberspace is big. Cyberspace is dark.
It's sometimes hard to find a cyberplace to park. Especially if you have an Amiga. But this month, there's a relative embarrassment of riches. Chris Gray has released a significant update to his AmigaMUD (version 1.1) to AmiNet. You'll also find there a new version of the Thrust-like multi-player game, Xpilot.
Centsible Software It's always been something of a challenge to find older and out-of-print Amiga games in the US, and, in the last year, it's gotten significantly harder with the surprise closing of Bare Bones Software and Software Support International's apparent decision to drop the Amiga.
Centsible Software, on the other hand, is not only still active, but growing. The Michigan-based outfit reports its recent buy out of SSI's Amiga and C64 stock has added 45,000 items to its inventory giving it a total of 1,000 Amiga games.
You can reach Centsible at (616) 471- 1089, and get its catalogues directly from the web page at home.sprynet.com sprynet cents .
And you can write to Peter Olafson at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. By Peter Olafson Reviews Wendetta 2175 Damage by Suomi-Peli, Imagine Benefactor Psygnosis' tiny-sprite arcade puzzler of a few years back without the puzzles.
Imagine its hero with a baseball bat. Now, imagine the hero walking up to his ubiquitous little helper and clubbing him to death with the bat. Now, repeat it a thousand times. You've got Damage.
This bizarre, distasteful and oddly compelling cocktail from Finland subtitled "The Sadistic Butchering of Humanity" casts you as, well, as a mass murderer, more or less. You are evidently the result of a Frankenstein-like experiment gone predictably wrong, and the object seems to be to venture forth into a capacious sideview city and crack the heads and variously perforate the bodies of its residents and make off with their money and weaponry.
By the time the plentiful local police finally took my ultra-durable Michael Massacre down outside a block of flats whose inhabitants 1 had subjected to methodical slaughter 1 had killed 155 people. (It's either that or die. Don't kill anyone, and the cops still treat you as if you had.)
So why am 1 playing this game?
Because it's gulp fun. Damage is tricky that way; it's very stylish and very playable.
The tiny animations cops edging along with raised pistols, little old ladies with walkers, businessmen with briefcases, blood flying from all of them are delicate. As you get higher in a building, the sideview graphic appears higher on an otherwise black screen.
I'm not against violence in computer games; it has its place at least as payoff and as comic relief. But while I admire the developers' unconventionality, the violence in Damage lacks motive. It's one thing to take out monsters who would kill you if you didn't kill them first, but quite another to take down unfortunate innocents who simply happen to occupy the same space.
And perhaps that's why I can't spend too long at Damage at a sitting. The lack of justification eventually catches up to me.
But, aside from that fundamental issue which might have been addressed with a few twists to the story, Damage is a decent game system and my only complaint concerns the halfhearted hard-disk install routine (only the first of the two disks can be installed) and no-hearted hard disk performance. (It ran for me only from floppy.). To order Damage, send an IMO for $ 20 to Suomi-Peli, P.O. Box 93,45701 KSNK. Finland.
Wendetta 2175 by Skills Marketing, distributed by clickBOOM This puppy's parents were champions.
A CD-only shoot-em-up for AGA systems, this German release recalls Team 17's great Project-X and Super Stardust. That is, it consists partly of a handsome horizontal- scrolling shoot-em-up and partly of gorgeous 3D tunnel sequences, with the occasional gameplay twist dodge-ball! to keep you from getting into a fixed horizontal-scroller head.
But, that said, Wendetta's comparatively mild-mannered, and it could use a taste of its models' backbreaking difficulty.
In fact, it doesn't have a difficulty option at all, and seems surprisingly OK about collisions with other craft. The first time 1 broke Wendetta out, I made it to the third level and 1 almost never make it to the third level.
Blobz by Apex Systems, distributed by Sagitarrius Software Blobz is Lemmings. No two ways about it. The objective is the same: Help cute little self-destructive critters make their way across a treacherous landscape to the level exit. In this case, they're bug-eyed green spheres that appear to be on holiday from Core Design's Blob: Coincidence? The structure is the same, with teleports in the place of the entrance trapdoor and exit house. The interface is the same. (An array of skills from jumping to missile-firing is displayed at screen-bottom.)
And so, pleasantly, is the fun. The level design is clever without quite being infuriating and includes a taste of the tricks and traps that marked the final Amiga Lemmings. The tiny blob animations are delicate and the water effect is yummy. You can kick the action into slow motion (which, regrettably, doesn't slow the game clock) and have some choices in which levels you select in your path across the world maps. If you can't lick one, another may prove more blob-friendly. It also comes with an easy-to- use editor something DMA Design always threatened to release for Lemmings and never
quite got around to finishing.
In fact, the only thing 1 don't like is that the game offers no palpable reward for reaching a world's exit other than simply entering into a new one. Even a Little animation would have done nicely here.
And yes, it's Lemmings. Who cares? Fun is fun, and this is fun.
Kang Fu Great Effects Developments This CD-only platformer from Holland looks as though it had sprung fully-formed from the mind of Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam. The effect is a kind of pop-art AGA collage: a hi-res photographic backdrop overlaid with retouched artwork and textures.
But actually participating in the adventures of Klont the Kangaroo collecting eggs for ammo and picking up little 'roos is a whole other deal.
Gameplay reveals Kang Fu as a shareware- level entry with a fancy clip-art icing. Apart from Kiont himself, the hand-drawn sprites are rather woeful, their interaction sloppy and they drag the good-looking stuff down with them.
World Golf Apex, distributed by Sagittarius Software Worl Golf is an unambitious and ultimately unrewarding rendition of the white-shoe sport. Its one real asset is accessibility. The angled-down point-of- view puts it more in the realm of arcade games than sport sims, and anyone should be able to figure out the basics in a round or two. (World Golf comes with five courses.)
Then again, that round or two may be all you play, as simplicity here doesn't equal fun. The graphics are primitive, the linear swing mechanism is a variation on the furrow golf games have been plowing for a decade and the absence of a zoom function means it's way too hard to putt with any accuracy. With Sensible Golf already on the green, did we really need World Golf? Nah.
By Peter Olafson In this ongoing feature, I'll look at the best or at least the most potentially interesting Amiga games that the Internet has to offer. (Most games not available via AmiNet will have an accompanying URL.)
Star Fighter GeoSync If you've ever looked down your nose at shareware as a thousand ways to play Minefield, this full-bore space opera from Australia will adjust your thinking. And this demo version of a forthcoming commercial game essentially, a Wing Commander Star Crusader variant with Elite X-Wing-style graphics is all the more remarkable when you realize that it's the work of one fellow.
Stylish touches abound from inflight chatter to the pregame menus to the involving in-game cut scenes and while the flight engine has limitations, they're not fatal.
Be warned: It's a sizeable download.
(Currently, it's available only at www.ozemail.com.au ~geosync .) The 11 required LHA archives oddly, all misnamed as .zips decompress to almost 9 megs.
Alien-Fish-Finger and Speed Racer FX Skull Army Software I do not go ga-ga over shareware very often, but I did ga considerably over HydroZone. That speedy 3D game stay inside the vector tunnel while dodging the oncoming filled-polygon walls took up my spare time for days when it surfaced on an Assassins games disk a couple of years back. Unfortunately, it didn't see wide distribution over here. Here's hoping its follow-up, Speed Racer FX, finds a wider audience. Speed Racer FX is essentially HydroZone Deluxe with multi-player capability and a level designer and it's every bit as slick
and speedy as the original.
Http: wuarchive.wustl.edu ~aminet dirs aminet game misc Speed RacerFX.lha Also from author David Cruickshank is Alien FF. Ifs described in the docs as Turrican-meets-Worms, and that's true; it has Turrican's many-pocketed levels and Worms' combustible scenery. But the overall feel put me equally in mind of Audiogenic's delightful-to-play, impos- sible-to-solve Exile. Either way, a great Caught in the Net time. (Cruickshank is also behind a tiny but slick light-cycles game called Wired-Chaos.)
Http: wuarchive.wustl.edu ~am.inet dirs aminet game shoot AlienFF.lha I found both of these titles via links at the Amiga Games site at http: www.tfs.net ~eivanov . Hanger 18 Alastair Murray Now, here, if I may be so bold, we have a classic of its type. In the AmiNet readme file, Murray reports he's been told this could have been a commercial game with a little touching-up, and I don't doubt it. This sideview action adventure is like Damage with a point tiny-man violence with a real-world objective. The basics may not impress you initially, you've got to escape from prison while
securing weapons, ammo and allies but the attention to detail while you're carrying out those tasks is amazing and persuasive.
It's in the tiny, detailed graphics. It's in the conversations between characters (which put me in mind of Psygnosis' ancient Brataccus) and it's in the strategy, which is surprisingly thoughtful. You don't want to take everything you find, and there's probably a better way to reach your objective than the one you've just tried.
Indeed, the whole opening scenario at the prison is such a kick I won't spoil it for you that I'm still replaying it.
Replaying a shareware game? What a concept.
AmiBee and Razor Lobsang A. Szaler and Dante Mendes De Patta South America seems to be a source of lively Amiga shoot-em-ups of late. AmiBee, from Peru, is an utterly charming (if unfinished) clone of the TurboGraphX's fabled vertical-scroller TwinBee. Professionally produced, crazy playable (a touch of Flying Shark here) and as cute as a whole drawer full of buttons, this is the best shareware blaster I've seen in ages. I'm only sorry there isn't more to this version (0.85). It's also been a long time since I've seen a horizontal shooter that wasn't... well, the usual sort of horizontal
But Razor, from Brazil, has a little something extra. I'm not sure if it's the melting quality to the volcanic backdrop or the responsive controls or having a "boss" level. But they come together nicely, and author De Patta promises vertical-scrolling levels in the full game. (And I hope it's going to get a little harder!)
Rush Hour Andreas Spreen Now, here's a great little time-waster.
Based on an old C64 game called Traffic, Rush Hour puts you in charge of the traffic lights in various US cities. You've got to keep the cars flowing by judicious pointing and clicking. If nine collect at any one light, or 25 anywhere on the level (there are 47), you're fired.
This is a palpable reminder of the virtues of simplicity. It's multi-featured multi-tasking and multi-player without ever becoming a burden and engrossing without actually taking up much time. And extra touches like bonus cars and traffic light robots keep things interesting without making them seem complicated. Simply a beautiful piece of work.
M. A.M.E. The newest twist in retro gaming,
M. A.M.E. for Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator lets you play
classic stand-up games of the early '80s. It's being ported to
the IBM, Mac, Unix and two separate Amiga versions are
underway one (by Jonathan Belson) in the UK, the other (by
Mats Eirik Hansen) in Norway. Both have reached a functional
state, and I had a chance to experiment with the 040 060
version of Hansen's port.
The good news: It works sort of.
After a few gurus and black-screen lockups most apparently over incompatibilities between a given game and the current
M. A.M.E. version I was pleasantly surprised to find a game
intro scrolling, in full color, up a narrow vertical Workbench
window. And, with much waiting and hammering of keys, I was
able to play it after a fashion.
Unfortunately, games run at dismal speed even on an 060 50 system. At this early stage (v.0.24.4), M.A.M.E. is probably too slow to be anything more than an interesting hack.
M. A.M.E. also has a basic problem not uncommon to emulators: The
ROM images (which don't accompany the emulator) are
copyrighted and you're not supposed to have one unless you
have the original arcade machine which means approximately
no one is on firm legal ground when playing games under
M.A.M.E. Not exactly my idea of relaxation.
That's all for now! Stay tuned for more next issue.
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Books Of Note: Avoid Detours on the Information Superhighway Daniel X (BLAZEMONGER) Barrett has written a collection of strategies for research and discovery for everyone on the net.
Reviewed by Nick Cook The drumbeat for the Internet has increased to an almost deafening thump. The Net has become a major sales pitch for many computer makers and on-line services. Marketing mavens have pushed the angle that not being on-line is roughly equivalent to being illiterate. Ads have shown little Bobby or Susie, wearing one of those “golly gee whiz" grins which exist only in a studio setting, happily downloading the latest information on dinosaurs or whatever with a simple click of the mouse.
That's the hype. The reality is just a tad different. While there's a wealth of information on the Net, finding it is another matter. Researching on-line is like visiting a library after an earthquake. All the books lay in a disorganized pile on the floor, and you have to go through each one to find what you want.
Daniel J. Barrett, known to many Amigans as BLAZEMONGER and the author of many Amiga parodies, has written Net Research: Finding Information Online. This is not a Net "Yellow Pages"; rather, it is a collection of strategies on how to conduct online research more effectively. Chapters cover topics such as Web search techniques, finding people or places, mailing lists, finding freely distributable software, and (important on the Net) how to make educated guesses.
The beginning chapters aptiv introduce the benefits and frustrations of online information searching.
Chapter One includes a critical, and often overlooked, caution: just because something comes off the Internet, it doesn't mean it is accurate. Barrett devotes a solid two pages addressing the issue.
Those familiar with the Net can skip Chapter Two, the now obligatory "what is the Internet" explanation.
However, Barrett's analogy of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and a library's Dewey Decimal System isn't quite right (here's a nitpick: the number used in the example appears to be a Library of Congress number, not a Dewey). He writes that ",.. we don't need to understand the meaning of each Dewey Decimal number..." Maybe not each number, but understanding that history is shelved in 970s means we can immediately go to that section of the stacks and find history books, instead of starting at the 000s and inching our way up. The same can't be said for URLs.
Barrett clearly discusses the strengths and weaknesses of several research starting points, such as search engines, specialized Web sites, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), discussion groups and intuition (i.e., good guessing). His chapter on Web search engines is excellent. Seven different strategies are given, and tire effective use of query languages (for example, AND, OR, NOT, NEAR) is laid out concisely. Following these techniques helped me whittle thousands of "hits" returned by Alta Vista down to a more reasonable twenty. It would be wonderful if tire publisher provided a "tear out"
sheet of the query language chart in the book; I usually prop the open book between my keyboard and CPU. Barrett's tips on how to guess a URL is also helpful. Recently, I wanted an address at work which sat on my home Amiga. I used Barrett's guessing hints and found the correct site in just two tries, certainly faster than using a search engine to locate it.
Once you get the information, let's say a Web site, it is a simple matter to "bookmark" it for future reference.
Well, maybe not. The Web is in a state of constant change, with sites coming and going daily. You may find yourself with a bookmark and no place to go.
Barrett offers good hints at finding a missing page, such as backing up to the main URL (e.g., try "http: www.billybobs.com" if "http: www.billybobs.com info fishingbait” suddenly disappears). He also has an interesting solution to vanishing Web sites: download the Web page (assuming you have hard drive space), and create a local page. Link the saved Web pages to your local page. Barrett outlines the procedure, along with a bare smattering of HTML. You'll probably need to find more assistance on HTML, but his idea is certainly a clever one.
Other chapters cover mailing lists, how to find people or places, file transfer protocol (FTP), Archie and Gopher. Each is clearly written, supported with diagrams and, most helpfully, tables. The book is indexed, and contains an appendix of some useful Web sites.
A little more discussion of commercial online resources would have been nice. Granted, these tend to change and may cost extra, but they usually include online encyclopedias and news databases. The old standby telnet also received short shrift. For example, one of my favorite ways of creating an initial bibliography for a writing project is to search the Library of Congress' book catalog via telnet. Hey, if the Library of Congress doesn't have a title on a particular topic, it probably isn't important!
The Internet won't replace traditional research, but it certainly augments it. Barrett's book now sits within an easy grasp, right next to my Amiga.
If you plan to perform online research, or just don't want to spin your wheels, Net Research: Finding Information Online is for you.
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